“The way to wealth is as plain as the way to market – it depends on two words, industry and frugality; that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do; with them everything.” – Franklin.
AS a man chooses his coat for its wearing qualities or for the moment’s passing whim, so does he choose his destiny. The responsibility and the result lie with the chooser. Each living person chooses-and each hour that passes fixes his choice deeper and deeper in his daily life.
Wealth is a state of mind or perhaps ‘twould be better to say that wealth is created through a state of mind. Few people get rich or acquire riches at a single stroke; most people who become rich grow rich, and the growth and development of a personal fortune is sometimes scarcely noted by the busy man or woman, who is thus almost unconsciously growing rich.
The acquiring of money and property, once begun, is a simple and easy process; growing rich comes through habits that are such fixed parts of one’s daily life that, once on the road to wealth, it would be quite difficult, if not wholly impossible, to stop the growth.
“If you live according to what nature requires, you mill never be poor; if according to the notions of men, you will never be rich. This is especially detrimental to us, that we live, not according to the light of reason, but after the fashion set by others.”
These thoughts from Lucius Annaeus Seneca, who was born in Rome before the year One. It is easy to see that the same things kept people poor in those days as in our own time and the principles of living well and happily and gradually acquiring wealth have not changed a whit since the year One.
There is no condition into which a man may come that is more to be feared by the individual and by society than the condition of poverty; it maddens a good man to crime and drives a madman to destruction. The condition of poverty is not a normal one and may quite easily be thrown off by any one who has health and the will of progress. It was Thucydides who said this about 425 B. C.:
“An avowal of poverty is no disgrace to any man; to make no effort to escape it is indeed disgraceful.”
Nearly 2,200 years later Oliver Goldsmith said:
“To be poor, and seem to be poor, is a certain way never to rise.”
So for more than 2,000 years, it has been understood that the person, who was poor and let it be known, and made little or no effort to rise above poverty, was largely responsible for his own unhappy condition.
Poverty and pauperism must not be confused; one who has, through misfortune, ill-health or a combination of circumstances, become a pauper may have left to him no avenue of escape. The pauper is to be pitied and to be helped.
The poor are those people who spend more than they get or at least spend all they get; Bruyere put it thus-“He is poor whose expenses exceed his income.” If such a condition should obtain long enough, that person would be a pauper; from poverty to pauperism is not a long step; it is only a short slide.
Wealth, ease, comfort and even contentment are within the reach of each one of us, though we all travel different roads toward our selected goals. The paths of some of us lie over mountains where, if we have the strength, we may leap from peak to peak of success, but the many of us, the great multitude, who travel the level plains, must approach success steadily rod by rod, mile by mile, day by day and year by year.