“Most middle-class people resist taking on additional uncertainty. They are more afraid of losing what they have than they are desirous of accumulating more wealth. This is the mindset of the middle class: “Enough is enough.” It is the desire for security. It is the desire to buy insurance against failure.”
— Gary North
He is so right.
The desire for security is driven by the fear of loosing what one has. Loosing what one has means reacquiring it, which means re-suffering the cost of the acquisition, which means putting forth time and effort (i.e. doing work). However, it’s likely that those same things would not be re-acquired because the looser would naturally deviate from his previous course in search of different things – acquiring only the small/important fraction of what he once had. (I’ve always done this, even when I thought I wouldn’t. I’ve discovered about myself that I never go back.)
Fearing the cost and perceived pain of of reacquiring something, and therefore avoiding all risk that might cause its loss, is driven primarily by laziness. It’s a vicious cycle that culminates in a total waste of human potential. If certain (most) people were rich so that they did not have to work to survive and have the possessions they desire then those same people would naturally ultimately become complete wastes of life on earth – squandering all opportunities to grow.
The solution is to learn and accept that the purpose of life is to “play the game”, not to win. Fortunately the game is incomprehensibly large and complex, with enough detail to support the needs of each individual player, which allows each player to engage in that which has meaning and value to them and avoid that which does not.
The most damning force that can be applied to nearly all persons on earth is financial “wealth” and “security”, which drives them to be idle and passive. Only the most driven and restless individuals are qualified to manage such a hazardous thing as financial material wealth.
Ask yourself this question: If I were [financially] rich, what would I do? This, of course, assumes you’re not rich. If your answer is not an honest “nothing different” then you’re not living well. You’re living your life in vain without meaning, for other people, or for ideals that are not your own. If the answer is not “work incessantly to achieve all of my goals without wasting energy on basic survival” then you’re a waste of skin. All that remains is to squander all the precious educational opportunities and experiences this world is designed to provide. Why are you even here if you would do that?! You don’t remember it now, but what got you here is the exact opposite of that kind of thinking.
“The central issue of wealth is this: “What is my expected net value for my remaining heartbeats, and why?””
— Gary North