We CAN stop Greed

I was raised by parents with contradicting approaches to life. Dad (RIP) was a live-today-like-it-is-your-last guy; on other hand, Mum epitomizes frugality: live like you will die aged 120. Turns out both approaches are needed to live a balanced life: save like you'll have a veeeerry long life, but don't forget to spoil thyself once in a while.

While I was barely into my teens, the Parents were pleasantly surprised that I had opened a bank account. They were excited enough to give me extra money to deposit on my Post Bank account (I kept the account till after Uni). I cannot recall when I subscribed to a culture of savings, but it's stayed with me till today. (The fear of being broke is enough incentive to keep some for rainy days.)

The values engrained in my formative years have stayed with me. 'Delayed gratification' (resistance to the temptation of an immediate pleasure in the hope of obtaining a valuable and long-lasting reward in the long-term) is perhaps the most valuable of them all. Put simply: don't raid your account to do Maldives without certainty of when next cheque will come.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post: do we have to own entire streets to live meaningful lives? There's anecdotal evidence that beyond a certain amount in the bank, there is little else one can do with money. It's not that you can live in five fancy homes at the same time. And/or drive four state-of-the-art vehicles at the same time. So... why do people go out of their way to be slaves to material things?

I have been privileged to interact with plenty of well-to-do folks. Many don't get enough sleep: they're chasing paper. They'll go to Church in the morning, and make deals with the devil in the afternoon. All for what? If you happen to own a building on Kampala Road, then what? Fine... your kids will benefit, but is it worthwhile to choose a life of thieving because you want a comfortable future for the kids? How much inheritance - besides education - did you get from your parents? Hardly any... yet you've not only 'made it' but you're buying single malt whiskey by the bottle. If you succeeded without much from your parents, what makes you think your kids won't? Why must you be ruled by greed because you want to secure your kids' future?

There are plenty of Ugandans in influential positions that are afflicted by a never-again-mindset. They were raised amidst impoverished backgrounds, and their fear of being broke (again) leads to plunder of public resources. I wouldn't call that thriving: it's slavery. And there's a way out of it: have Faith. If you must steal, create jobs for less-privileged Ugandans. That's more noble than only securing the future for the fruit of thy loins.




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