- Apparently wealth more attractive.
- Advantages of wealth.
- Love of fame nobler.
- Fame v/s wealth.
- Advantages of fame.
When a man begins his career in right earnest, he is attracted by two forces, namely wealth or fame. He has to fix his aim on either of them for, to get both of them is very difficult, if not impossible.
At the very first thought, we find wealth more attractive. “Money,” said a witty Frenchman, “is the Sovereign of Sovereigns.” Money gives us the means of acquiring what we wish. We can enjoy ourselves dainty dishes, put on fashionable clothes, reside in palatial buildings, get best entertainments, visit foreign countries, and have numerous other luxuries with the help of wealth. If we have money, we can help our friends and relatives in distress. Thus gold gives us everything we want.
From this point of view, fame is surpassed by wealth. Fame cannot procure any of these things for us. We often find famous persons in the grips of financial difficulties.
Love of wealth makes us industrious. A philosopher has rightly said that our present progress in all the shapers of life is due to the love of wealth. Mere love of fame in a few of us would have kept us in darkness.
All the same love of fame is nobler than the love of money. In acquiring or rather amassing wealth, we have often to adopt dishonest means. We have to flatter one man, bridge another and deceive the third. Generally, it is not so in acquiring fame. A poet or a painter cannot get fame by dishonest methods, But in the sphere of politics, some persons do adopt underhand practices for coming in limelight.
Wealth leads to various vices, while fame does not encourage them. This does not mean that famous man have no vices. But they have to avoid vices to maintain their fame. Wealth is a burden, while fame is life a light feather. A person hankering after wealth is very selfish. He wants wealth at any cost. We have heard of many examples of persons who have betrayed their country for the sake of money. Famous persons may be selfish in their own way, but they know that their fame depends upon their merit, and have thus to behave in certain way. Betrayal by them of their country will soon change their fame into notoriety. Wealth implies on merit in the person possessing it, though in flattery we describe him processing many qualities of head and heart. As against this fame inplies some merit. One may become wealthy by accident but it is difficult to get fame in that way. A poet a painter, a politician, a scientist or a social worker has to show his worth before he becomes famous. In a sense fame is the reward of some great work which benefits society.
Wealth is temporary, while fame is stable. A wealthy person may lose his wealth by one way or another any day. But fame will not be lost so quickly. If a man is careful he can not only maintain his fame, but can also enhance it. Some wealthy men become famous, but their fame is lost with their wealth. Some famous men do get wealth; but they maintain their fame even when they lose wealth. A wealthy man is respected in his own circle, while a famous man is respected wherever he is known. A wealthy man is soon forgotten after his death, while the fragrance of fame smells sweet and blossoms in the dust. The heirs of a wealthy man get wealth and often turn out fools, while the heirs of a famous man work hard to maintain that fame.
Sometimes fame acts as a current coin. Quaid-i-Azam had no wealth, but his one word was enough to fetch millions of rupees at his feet. He gave food to the starving, clothes to the naked and shelter to the destitute without a pie in his pocket. Persons are less famous than he can also do good work in their own spheres. Thus wealth becomes the servant of fame.
If I can get both fame and wealth, I would certainly like to have both of them. But fame without wealth is better than wealth without fame. I shall prefer fame to wealth, for Spencer says:
Dearer is love than life, and fame than gold.