The Rich & Wealthy

Money can amplify Individual’s’ strengths, weaknesses

Mena Walker, Staff Writer

Wealth is a mirror, often revealing and amplifying whatever weaknesses or strengths already exist within ourselves. For instance, if you were insecure before you became wealthy, money can magnify those insecurities. Are pop stars and celebrities ever really sure the people hanging out with them really like them or are befriending them because of their money?

Money is a tool. It allows you to meet our basic needs – food, shelter, transportation, healthcare – as well as other things you want like exotic vacations or an expensive wardrobe. You get the gist. Money is a resource used to survive and thrive, but it doesn’t entirely translate to happiness.

It enables you, and the more you have, the more choices you can make. But what choices will you make?

According to Live Science, Paul Biff reports wealthier people are likely to support unethical behavior.

“Wealth can change the way you think and feel, but it can’t change your identity,” he wrote.

Affluence has the tendency to exaggerate personality through social value, self-sufficiency, self-view, ethics, and addiction. Eventually, your morals will likely determine more about you than the size of your paycheck. The disadvantages of being too rich are often overlooked. Wealth has been related to addiction, tolerance, stress, fear, anxiety, and negative consequences. But the correlation does not ensure causation. For instance, you may win the lottery for $27 million. But what are you going to do with it? Invest wisely or blow it on a shopping spree?

Wealth isn’t always associated with negative behavior. With her inspiring rags-to-riches story, American talk show host Oprah Winfrey became a successful billionaire. Her family during childhood was exceedingly poor. With little to no clothing, Winfrey was forced to wear potato sacks. She first lived with her grandmother then was sent to live with her mother, who was even poorer.

According to Insider, Winfrey’s life didn’t improve until she went to live with her father in Nashville, Tennessee. She eventually went to college to pursue journalism, then started and hosted her own television show that became syndicated nationally, broadcasted to more than 100 other countries by 1986.

“I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good,” Winfrey said. “I think of somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.”

Winfrey used her money to help by starting 60 schools in 13 countries, creating scholarships, advocating for women’s shelters, supporting programs for African-American students, and building youth centers and homes. She also stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic, using her wealth to help others by committing $12 million through the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation.

As high schoolers, we’re very anxious about our futures. Soon enough, you will graduate, maybe go to college, get a job and then live in the real world on your own. You’ll have to decide what you want, how much you’ll need and what you’ll do with what you earn.

It’s known money alone can’t make you happy, but it sure can make life feel more enjoyable. You want the possibilities money creates — the more money you have, the more choices you get.

Regardless of the opportunities money may provide, it’s what you do with it that really matters.