“Faults that are rich, are fair.”(Shakespeare)
The word wealth is a term of Economics. Adam Smith has defined Economics as: ‘Science of Wealth’, Further anything that can be put to productive uses is wealth. The knowledge of a teacher is his wealth. Similarly, the skill of an artist, say a painter or an actor is his wealth. The natural resources and manpower are wealth of a country.
Here the word wealth has been used in the sense of riches or money. As we see, the rich or the wealthy are a class by themselves. Some people think that wealth can bring happiness, but it is a mistaken idea. No double money can make the run of life easier, but it can not purchase happiness or contentment. Both are conditions of the mind. Money is said to be power. Perhaps this made Shakespeare, to say: ‘Put money in your pocket and everything is alright.
People are proud of pelf and power. It is a universal truth that power always corrupts. Wealth makes man forgetful about God. It makes man showy, vain and power intoxicated. Wealthy people are generally lost in worldly pomp and show, comforts and luxuries. They turn a blind eye to the poor. Prosperity makes them, ease-loving, insidious and corrupt. It is correct that ‘Adversity best discover the virtue, prosperity, vice.
The power of money can make fair, foul and foul, fair. It can even purchase the law and influence judgment. Most of the current social evils are the results of misuse of money. Malpractices like bribery, smuggling, hoarding, tax evasion and drug trafficking come in the share of the wealthy. They are also the trend-setters. Others, then follow and imitate them. In our country money can hire anything. Everybody, the government and the non-government employees swallows the bait of money. Thus, money is a curse.
It is an old maxim: Society is the individual writ large’. If the individuals are money-minded or Mammon worshipers, society also becomes materialistic and corrupt. Take the affluent societies of the west. Go to the States, Europe or Japan in the East; the people are rich. Their moral graph is very low. Sex crimes are on the climax. Their, philosophy is: Live to eat and do not eat to live”. When the African and Asian peoples are submerged in hunger, poverty, and ignorance, they have surplus to throw away and spend on war materials. It is a crime against humanity.
Wealth makes man greedy and various. Greed is a sin. Unfair distribution of wealth leads to inequality of opportunities. The rich become richer and the poor become poorer. According to Quranic teachings, money is meant to be spent. It must be in circulation and it is not to be hoarded. The richer is a person, the greater are his responsibilities and duties to others the poor, the needy, the wayfarers, the widows and the orphans.
Poet Goldsmith has rightly remarked:
‘It the people and not money that make a nation strong.’
In the light of The above arguments, it can not be gainsaid that wealth is a curse.