The Daily Stoic for September 27th, “What Will Prosperity Reveal?”.

“For even peace itself will supply more reason for worry. Not even safe circumstances will bring you confidence once your mind has been shocked—once it gets in the habit of blind panic, it can’t provide for its own safety. For it doesn’t really avoid danger, it just runs away. Yet we are exposed to greater danger with our backs turned.”

SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 104.10b

It’s true that power does not corrupt. It reveals. Today’s daily stoic seems to suggest that fortune, wealth or money does not really change people. We are the same, only now we can do things we weren’t allowed before.

I have to agree.

What Will Prosperity Reveal?

What’s interesting is that this mean that the opposite is true. Even with more resources, we keep on being the same people, with the same weaknesses, and vulnerabilities.

If we are selfish, greedy or arrogant, we will still be that way with a lot of money in our bank accounts. Probably even more so.

You only have to watch some celebrity reality show to realize they are just the rest of us, perhaps even slightly more childish. Having money can actually make you feel you are superior to others. Or it can make you think you deserve more than others. 

In my opinion, that’s when this “revelation” that Seneca explains takes place. When we are allowed to do as we wish. When we don’t have limits or thresholds.

Money has been discussed in the daily stoic a lot. I still believe that the sentence “money does not bring happiness” is kind of naïve. Money can help bring happiness to your life… Or conversely, not having money can make you miserable (i.e: not having money to pay for a medical treatment).

However, what money won’t do is turning you into a better person. We are who we are regardless of our wealth. 

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “What Will Prosperity Reveal?”, discusses again money and our relationship with it. The point of agreement? Money does not make you a better person, it only reveals who you are.

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