Money is regarded as most important, for survival, but not a prerequisite for survival in this world. Those with money die, just as those without money also die. There are differences between activities surrounding those dying with money and those dying without money. But, the aspect of dying remains the same. A dead person is not conscious of how the burial is carried out.
A person with money leaves properties and other valuables for his descendants. But there is an aspect of bad money, being a serious liability to those descendants. Yet good money, whose value includes the legacy of the individual concerned, can be a blessing. The Book of Proverbs clarifies the aspect of leaving a good inheritance for children’s children.
“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Trouble pursues the sinner, but the righteous are rewarded with good things. A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:20-22 NIV).
There is wealth, produced by corruption and wealth produced by ethical activities. Those engaging in corruption can also be respected, for accumulating wealth. However, such people’s descendants are left with liabilities that are too ghastly to imagine. Ethical people accumulate wealth whose valued longevity is dependent on the value, benefitting humanity.
I suppose Thomas Edison’s children are still enjoying the benefits, resulting from Thomas Edison’s innovations. Thomas Edison represents one of the examples of good money, fulfilling what is said in Proverbs 13:22. This is different from what happens to a corrupt leader of a country, building an empire, out of corruption.
The children of such leaders appear as privileged, although being beneficiaries of bad money. They hold nothing of value, except wealth, sustained by bad money. To them, life implies enjoying dubious wealth left by corrupt parents. Hence the term corruption means something rotten.
Their children’s children are the beneficiaries of ridicule, as scorned by other humans. Anything valuable carries a lasting admiration to ordinary people. Yet anything disgraceful carries a lasting shame. Wisdom is, therefore, necessary, when separating between good and bad money. The book of Proverbs contains a clear admonition: “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death” Proverbs 14:`12 NIV).
Many people are attracted to bad money, knowingly or unknowingly. Yet money solves survival challenges. We hear of passionate decrying against corruption, even from those surviving on corruption. Those people may not even be aware of their activities promoting corruption.
For instance, it is impossible to survive without engaging the black market to buy foreign currency in Zimbabwe. But, the enforcers of the law against the black market, could, themselves, be patrons in foreign currency dealings. Corruption is not exclusively practised by those in power. It involves the mindset.
Many people take advantage of the corrupt system when amassing inexplicable wealth. They desire that the corrupt system remains intact, although they are not directly associated with a corrupt system. To some people, the corrupt system brings a better life. Although appearing as living ethically, such people are indirect enforcers of corruption.
One starts by examing one’s lifestyle when addressing corruption. One asks how many people benefit from one’s activities, leading to the accumulation of wealth when determining whether corrupt or not. One is more corrupt, as long as benefitting fewer people, yet making much money.
True wealth is built upon benefiting more people through one’s activities. The wealth of billionaires, like Bill Gates, cannot be questioned as long as more people benefit from Microsoft Windows. This includes millions more, benefitting from true producers of wealth, as referred to, in Proverbs 13:22.
The correct definition of money is established in the convenience of exchanging commodities. Money, as a medium of exchange, is expedient when compared to barter trading. For instance, if having several goats, it can be difficult to measure value, to exchange those goats for a cow. The negotiation would be cumbersome, before settling for the acceptable exchange.