Society Magazine

Wealth Or Fame; What’s the Right Choice?

Posted on the 14 December 2012 by Azharnadeem

When a man begins his career in the right earnest, he is attracted by either of these two forces: WEALTH or FAME. He has to fix his aim to get one of these because getting both is very difficult, if not impossible.

Wealth is more attractive than fame. ‘Money’, said a witty Frenchman ‘is the sovereign of sovereigns. Money gives us means of acquiring what we wish’. We can enjoy ourselves dainty dishes, put on fashionable clothes, reside in palatial buildings, get best entertainments, and visit foreign countries and numerous other luxurious with the help of wealth. If we have money, we can help our friends and relatives in distress and be a cause of their relief.

From this point of view, fame is surpassed by wealth. Fame cannot procure any of these things for us. We often find famous people in the grip of financial difficulties. Love of wealth makes us industrious. A philosopher has rightly said that our present progress in all spheres of life is due to the love of wealth. More love of fame in a few of us would have kept us in darkness.

Love of fame is nobler than the love of wealth; in acquiring or rather amassing wealth, we often have to adopt dishonest means; we have to flatter one man, bribe another and deceive the third-Generally, it is not so in acquiring fame. A poet or painter cannot get fame by dishonest means.

Wealth leads to various views while fame does not encourage them. This does not mean that famous men have no vices. But they have to avoid vices to maintain fame. Wealth is a burden, while fame is like a light feather.

A man, who is after wealth, wants wealth at any cost. We have heard of many examples of men who have betrayed families, relations and even countries for the sake of wealth. Famous persons may be selfish in their own way, but they know that their fame depends on their merit and credibility, and thus they have to behave in a certain way. Betrayal of any sort would soon change their fame into notoriety. Wealth implies on merit in the persons possessing it, though in flatter, we describe him possessing many qualities of head and heart. As against this, fame implies some merit. One may become wealthy by accident, but it is difficult to get fame in that way. A poet, painter, politician, scientist all as a social worker has to show worth before becoming famous.

Wealth is temporary, while fame is stable. A wealthy person may lose his wealth one day or another, but fame is eternal. If a man is careful, he cannot only maintain his fame, but 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, blossoms in the dust and is ever long lasting. The heirs of a wealthy person get wealth and often turn out fools and may even lose it, while the heirs of famous men work hard to maintain that fame.

Sometimes, fame acts as a current coin. Our national hero Quaid-e-Azam had no wealth, but still his own 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 penny in his pocket.

Our national poet Allama Iqbal, he was not a very wealthy person but because of the fame he had and with his words of poetry he awakened the Muslims and motivated them to stand out for a separate homeland for themselves.

Unlike them and many such other famous but not so wealthy people, the wealthy persons around us are known only in their social circles. With their power of wealth they can do whatever they want for the betterment and good of others, other than themselves, but has really done nothing more to have fame and stand out.

Hence, if I could get both fame and wealth, I would certainly like to have both of them. But fame without wealth is better than wealth without fame. Thus, personally, I would prefer fame to wealth.

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