Your possessions or your life? Which is more important?

April 19, 2009 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Last August, a British businessman in severe financial difficulties, Christopher Foster, killed his wife Jill and daughter Kirstie, 15, before burning down his £ 1.2m mansion and in the process killing himself. Foster had assets of £ 3m and debts of £ 4.4m and he could not face the threat of becoming bankrupt and losing everything he had. He told associates that his wife and daughter could not cope if they were forced to downgrade their lifestyle. During successful times Foster had owned Ferraris, Porsches, a Bentley and a Range Rover.

I find it incredibly sad that a family has to die rather than face poverty. Ok, no one wants to be poor, but it’s not really the end of the world, certainly not something to die rather than face up to. People have a strange idea of what they need their children to have in order to be happy, as if money will make us happy. We see all around us that money provides neither happiness nor security. I remember reading once about the actress Melanie Griffith who was desperate that she had to make enough money to leave each of her children many millions of dollars so that she could secure their future, as if money would do this for them.

But money alone will not give us security and riches do not give satisfaction. True security and real wealth come from within, and cannot be found from externals. This is what the philosophers in all ages East and West have told us, yet every new generation that comes along seems to get it wrong and makes the same mistakes. The credit crunch we are living through has been created entirely by human greed seeking ever more money in an endless search for satisfaction that can never be attained.

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Entry filed under: Age of Anxiety.

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