Affluence, a Curse or a Blessing?


Is affluence a blessing or a curse?  Affluence is usually associated with pleasant, pleasurable, satisfying, good and agreeable things. Seldom do we link it with things of unpleasant, disparaging, malicious and offensive nature.

So, does affluence have an insidious side to it? Has it not awarded us with a comfortable and pleasant lifestyle? Has it not bestowed on us quality, delicious and nutritious foods, the kinds our parents and grandparents could only dream about? Has it not accorded us modern material comforts which modern technologies and inventions have created? Has it not presented us with the escape from the physical hardships and mental stresses that confronted our ancestors?

Yes,  it has awarded us, bestowed upon us, accorded us and presented us all these good things but, believe me, it still has an insidious side to it.

Affluence is an unrecognized and wanton killer! Affluence has done its works so stealthily and cunningly that many of us are caught unaware. It has given us so much glamorous, lovely, tempting and enchanting things, that we are fascinated and captivated by its power, by what it can do. It has lulled us into a stupor and we are blinded to its insidious nature.

Before affluence gained its preeminent place, can you recall on which occasions  would  meat (whether it was chicken, mutton, lamb, or steak) be served? Only on special and festive occasions, right? Today, in most developing and developed countries meat of one kind or another is served on the tables everyday. Because of affluence it has become a staple food of most families. What does this mean? It means affluence has created a huge demand for meats.

Affluence has also created a huge demand for furs of all kinds. People with money want to advertise their wealth, this spells more killing of animals like bears, elephants, foxes, rabbits, mink, otters, seals and coyotes.

With affluence people acquire more exotic tastes in foods – now more and more people are eating shark fin soup.  Another species is added to the ‘soon-to-be-extinct’ list.

The accumulative effect of all these can only means that millions more lives are taken to satisfy this demand. Albeit, they are animal lives, but they are still millions upon millions of lives!

This is not obvious, that is why affluence, I reckon, is an unknown and wanton killer. Innumerable animal lives are sacrificed each day just because affluence has spawned a demand with profits too good to be ignored.

The taking of animal lives is only one part of the story, the other concealed aspect is the taking of human lives.  This may give you  jolt! But affluence also takes away thousands of human lives each year.

With affluence, parents start pampering their children – giving them more freedom and more money to spend. Devious, unscrupulous people, people who are out to exploit such situations can spot such opportunities.  The unsuspecting children are marked  by the drug pushers and most end up as the death statistics.  Affluence has also caused many human lives to be wasted in this manner.

In more unsuspecting ways affluence takes away huge number of human lives. Its captivating powers work on our blind side. It works insidiously to make us believe we are the elite group, thus as such we must enjoy ourselves to the limit money now affords us. The purchasing power it possesses lead us to purchase high-powered cars and motor bikes. The same power leads us to acquire the habit of drinking hard liquors, and take in overly rich foods. All these in the belief we must show others how rich and powerful we have become as a result of this new-found affluence.

Many drivers of such high-powered vehicles have died drivng such vehicles , many people have died s a resut of accidents caused by drivers of such vehilces. The consumption of alcohol has led to many deaths on the roads each year. It has also caused many deaths due to the toll it takes on the body. Taking of overly-rich foods have also claimed the lives of affluent people because of illnesses and ailments resulting from such rich foods.

This goes to show affluence, like everything else, has two sides  to it – the good and the bad.

The important point here is that affluence is only a thing, what consequence it bear rests not on itself but on the people who are in possession of it. Those who are fortunate enough to acquire affluence should realize they have the obligation to make the right choice when using it.

Mindfulness, the ability to distinguish moderation and abuse, the ability to control our impulses is what will make the difference here. It will decide if we become the master of our new-found wealth or we will eventually become wealth’s servant.

Come visit again. Thank you.

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2 thoughts on “Affluence, a Curse or a Blessing?

  1. Bea Elliott says:

    Thank you for writing such a thought provoking piece. And all that you say is true. Seems we are now a culture just of “things” no matter who must pay the consequences of our wants. It is sad that this desire for objects comes at the cost of countless billions of animals and millions of humans. I hope mankind awakens from this stupor before there is no return to our humanity.

  2. Justin Choo says:

    When one is hungry, affluence brings food. When one is full, affluence encourages greater desires for things better. Down the road, the seekers of desires will be overwhelmed by greed and heedlessness. This is the foolishness of humans.

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