Does the title surprise you? It may, as we usually associate affluence 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, captivated and bewitched 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 routinely served on the our tables. 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 too. People with money want to advertise their wealth, this spells another kind of killing – 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 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. The title of the article may have surprised you, this may now shock you! But affluence also plays a devious part in the killing of human lives.
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 pounce on such opportunities. The unsuspecting children are marked by the drug pushers and most end up as the death statistics.
Another item that takes away many young lives each year but has often gone unnoticed is the motor vehicles. Affluence acquired by the parents permits them to give their children motor bikes and cars liberally. The mis-use of these vehicles result in the deaths of many of the young drivers.
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 consequences it bears 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.
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