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Daily Journal
     May 18, 2021      #93-138 KDJ
 

One man shouldn't be expected to save the

By Ron Jackson

Jeff Bezos is a fortunate man. He can afford any privilege he desires. If he wants to spend a half billion dollars on a boat, he can. Without guilt or reservations. However, the richest man in the world cannot seem to spend his money without criticism or judgement.

As soon as the news of his purchase of the world’s largest and most opulent sailing vessel was made public, came unsolicited advice on much better ways to spend that amount of his money. It was offered that the world has more pressing needs than another fancy boat. There are poor people who could benefit greatly from that amount of his money. A half billion dollars of his money would go a long way to ending world hunger. This man should do so much with his money for others because he has been given so much money.

Given?

It is never difficult to assign responsibility to others who may have amassed more than most. It is too easy to assume by those with less that those who may have acquired means way beyond what is absolutely necessary to just survive received their lot effortlessly. Too many times the misplaced judgement is derived from a biblical directive, “to whom much is given, much will be required,” or some variation of it.

In its simplest and most used interpretation, if a person has accumulated much, that person has an obligation or responsibility to do much with it for others. Sort of an economic trickle-down principle. Like most unregulated principles, its enforcement is selective. It is typically reserved for the wealthiest. Or to anyone who has much more than the one doing the judging. And more times than not, it is applied to just economic blessings.

We expect the financially well-off to do more just because they can. Somehow the thought of how the rich person became so rich is too often absent from the equation. It is assumed the gain was given instead of earned. Apparently, no one can accumulate top tier wealth without it being handed down to them. Using all the physical and mental gifts to take advantage of opportunity and hard work can never be the reason. The wealthiest are just assumed to have been given wealth.

Certainly, in some cases wealth is bequeathed. Even in those cases, it takes effort to maintain or grow it. There should be no expectation of anyone to just give their money away. The expectation is seldom placed on the person with the least to use whatever gifts they have been afforded to give away to others less fortunate.

At what point is too much wealth? In America, there should never be a limit of the amount of wealth a citizen can legally obtain. Jeff Bezos is a fitting example. During the pandemic era when many citizens suffered great loss, Bezos and others in his elite circle profited greatly. Billionaires earned billions while others lost everything.

There is none and should never be any shame associated with or directed toward anyone who exponentially improves their situation. Honest accumulation of wealth should be guilt-free.

We don’t expect the physically strongest man in the world to carry the weakest. We don’t expect the person with the highest I.Q. to use that intelligence to solve the world’s ignorance problem. But we expect the financially fittest man to alone carry the burden of the world’s poorest.

The world’s problems are the responsibility of the whole world. Not any one individual. Every person has been gifted something. The ultimate responsibility is to hold ourselves accountable for our guilt-free accumulation and our degree of expected giving.

If we substituted the gift of wealth for time, we would all find ourselves guilty of not giving as much as expected. We are all sailing through each with day with the gift of 86400 seconds. We’re rich. When it comes to time, we are right there with Jeff Bezos.

All with unmet expectations to do more for others.

Ron Jackson can be contacted
through the Daily Journal at​editors@daily-journal.com

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