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  Henry Platt

Are Rich People Really Evil?
Some People Think So

Some people complain that rich people have so much money that they should have it taken away from them and given to the complainers. Below is a list of some wealthy people and some evil people. Some of these people may fall into both categories, and some may not have been in either.

 Benedict ArnoldGenghis Kahn
George W. BushKenneth Lay
Bill CosbyBernard Madoff
Thomas EdisonRichard Nixon
Henry FordElvis Presley
Moamar GadaffiJohn D. Rockefeller
Adolf HitlerHarry Truman
Simon bar Jochai         Oprah Winfrey

After thinking about these people, it is important to consider the qualities that make someone evil. President Truman ordered two atomic bombs to be dropped on Japan on 1945. Many innocent people died as a result, but many more people did not die because of his decision. President Truman made his decision based entirely on military strategy. Adolf Hitler ordered the murder and execution of millions of innocent people to solidify his political goals.

John D. Rockefeller worked very hard for many years to build the largest oil company of its time. He also gave away large amounts of his money, and I think of him whenever I visit his largest gift to New York City: Central Park. Bernard Madoff accumulated a substantial amount of money as well, but nobody smiles when thinking of Bernard Madoff.

Oprah Winfrey also worked hard to build a business and an appreciative audience. She has been generous with her wealth. On one afternoon she arranged to give every member of her studio audience a brand new American built automobile. Kenneth Lay gave away large amounts of money, too, but it wasn't really his.

Why do some people feel that all of the wealthy are evil? Perhaps they have selective memories. Perhaps they never worked hard enough to succeed. Perhaps their parents and teachers and friends never inspired them to recognize the small successes in life. It is difficult for a child or anyone else to recognize success when he is frequently reminded that nothing he does is good enough.

<<When my second daughter was just fifteen months old, she was trying to put her shoes on after her nap. I was sitting on the couch with her and her sister as I carefully watched. Abby was determined to put a shoe on all by herself, and I noticed that she wasn't frustrated - just very determined. After five arduous minutes she finally succeeded, I complimented her, tied her shoe, and put on the second and tied it, too. Success was hers.>>

Remember these words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

"Let us then be up and doing
With a heart for any fate,
Still acheiving, still pursuing.
Learn to labor and to wait."

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© L. Henry Platt, Jr.