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Being Richer Does Not Mean That You Are Smarter

11 Jan

I know some of you think it does – especially those of you that are wealthy, however, let me defend my point of view and then feel free to rebut.

First of all, we all know that there are very wealthy people that didn’t get their money using their brains, accordingly, from this point alone we can easily say that wealth does not equate intelligence.  But let’s dig deeper into this subject and define what intelligence is so that we can have a basis of comparison.

According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary intelligence is..(1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : reasonalso : the skilled use of reason(2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests)

Based on this definition, we can also say that most wealthy people became wealthy by using their intelligence.  So, at this point, except for a few minor exceptions, most people that worked hard and made a lot of money must have been intelligent.  They had to have the skills of reason and abstract thinking in order to move ahead in life.

Now let’s take it one step further.  Does that mean that if you are smart, you must be wealthy?  I ask this because we might assume this statement to be true because what else would you use your skill of reason and abstract thinking for in not to make a lot of money?

This would be true if the objective criteria were the fact that money makes a person happier.  I disagree with this “fact”, because it simply is not a fact.  Money does not always make a person happier.  In my opinion, revolving your life around thinking about how to acquire money ALWAYS makes a person unhappy, because they are never satisfied with what they have.  They will always want more.

With this being said, let’s say that the we all would like to have the ability – or the intelligence – to (as the definition above states) “manipulate one’s environment…” as measured by objective criteria.  I say the objective criteria is happiness.  We all want to be  to be happy (I would assume).  So now the question becomes – who is smarter – the wealthy person or the happy person?

But, now we have a new problem.  How does intelligence contribute to happiness.  Isn’t happiness an emotion and intelligence by definition does not involve emotion?  Aaaah…..

Here is my answer to this very good argument.  When we are able to use our reasoning faculties to understand that happiness is all we really want, we can “manipulate our environment” accordingly.  In other words, once we use our logical, intellectual capacity to figure out that nothing will make us happy, except our own personal perception of life, we will use that same intelligence to “manipulate our environment” – or our perception, in order to reach our goal of happiness.

Bottom line; We all want to be happy.  When we discover that being happy is up to our attitude, we will learn how to adjust our attitude reasonably in order to be happy.  Money loses it’s value at this point and other tools become much more important to acquire than wealth.

So, does being richer mean that you are smarter?  Smarter than some but….not smarter than someone who has nothing and is still truly happy.

Other posts you might like:

Inequality is not a Racial Issue – It is a Human Issue

You Are Perfect – No Approval Necessary

Paycheck or Self Respect – I’ll Take Self Respect

Greed.. The Deadliest Sin of Them All

Why is Life Unfair?

Life is full of controversy so here is a thought to live by:
Why is life unfair?
Because there’s never going to be a system that is fair to everyone.
Shannon Miller
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