“Old Bill” Suggests—
Most folks have more experience with hard times than easy times. In consequence we know more about having too little than about having too much. To say that too much money can be harmful rather than helpful always arouses the humorous response that we’d be willing to take the chance. But money in unaccustomed hands can be as destructive as a case of razors in the nursery.
Would you work just as hard if you didn’t have to?
Be just as courteous to cranky customers if you had a million dollars?
Get down just as promptly in the morning if you owned the business?
Spend evenings in planning and contriving better ways of doing the job if you already had more money than you could use?
Continue to be modest and reasonable in your personal expenditures if there was no limit to the checks you could write?
If all five answers are “Yes,” then you would find money a tool that you could use safely and skillfully. If some of the five could only be answered honestly in the negative, then wealth would only slow you down. As people are shaped by what they do and not by what they have, a lazy millionaire can become a bum just as quickly as a lazy tramp.
That “the prosperity of fools shall destroy them” is putting it pretty strongly. But there is not much doubt that, for the average individual, prosperity is even harder to stand than adversity.
ROYAL F. MUNGER.