Years ago, one of my daughters, asked me if I would donate my services and present my Wealthbuilder workshop at the school as a fund raiser project. When I asked her why the Wealthbuilder, she grinned and replied, “None of these kids know anything about earning and looking after their own money; Dad they really need your help. How could I say no!
The project had to get the approval of the headmaster; a daunting task! For over an hour I felt as if I was talking to a brick wall; I remember thinking, “is it impossible for someone to comprehend something that they have no understanding of, nothing in his life experience has ever shown him the principle of wealth creation; it’s time to admit defeat and leave.” Then to my amazement I saw a dim light come on in his eyes and he said; “You know, maybe my staff need to attend; and even some of the parents.”
My daughter’s face lit up as she said, “Great, we can let them come for double the kids fee.” We agreed; half the job well done. As I was leaving the headmaster asked me if I would please address the school assembly to help promote the project. I enthusiastically agreed.
On the morning of the assembly I discovered that there were two guest speakers and I was billed second. I sat patiently and listened to the deputy head mistress introduce the first speaker, A clergyman from the charismatic church across the road from the school.
I sat back and listened to an amazing story, that was proceeded by this opening sentence. “I have come here today to warn you about get rich schemes and the evil of wealth!!!”
This enlightened member of the clergy then, passionately shared a chapter of his life when he was a young priest in New York City, USA. In short, he had rescued a young thief who had been caught stealing a car radio. He had posted his bail, paid his fine and had sheltered him in the church.
Realising that this young man was rather intelligent he went on a mission to raise money from the captains of industry to send the young man to medical school and he was so proud to be able to say that his protege was now a successful surgeon in New York with his own practice. The priest got a standing ovation.
My turn …… I stood up, took the microphone and held a long deliberate silence. Then I smiled and said, “Wow, that is a tough act to follow …. But I do have one question for you; If you had the choice, who would you want to be …. The priest or the captain of industry? Would you want to be wealthy enough to be able to donate to the charity of your choice of would you want to be the priest asking for charity?”
“Who wants to be the priest, raise your hands.” Almost everyone in the assemble raised their hand. But I noticed three older boys in the back of the room who had not. So, I asked the other question; “Who wants to be the captain of industry.” No surprise, the three boys in the back of the room, who I later learned were probably going to fail their Matric exams raised their hands.
The short story is we never facilitated the Wealthbuilder for those children and they in all likelihood went on to join the multitude of people who live above their means trying to make ends meet. Believing that they are victims of some immoral system imposed on them by the evil rich of the world.
We all have choices! Some of us; a very small minority, choose to create wealth, and in so doing keep the economy that feeds all of us alive. My question to you is: “Who would you chose to be the priest or the captain of industry?”
“Wealth creation is the well managed surplus of the reward we receive for the services we provide to the community in which we have chosen to add value.”