The ultimate purpose

Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options. — Chris Rock

Ronnie Apteker
4 min readDec 10, 2020

To leave the planet in a better place than when you arrived; to make a difference. Isn’t this our ultimate purpose? That makes the most sense. Any parent would agree. Every parent says they want a better life for their kids.

A better planet = a better life

I know that many people will say money makes the world go round, and I do understand this. We all need money. But what we also need is a healthier planet, both physically and spiritually. If you have a lot of money and you want to use your resources to help make the planet better, then great. But if you are a cash hoarder then how does this help the planet, or anyone else.

To have a sense of purpose is a blessing and a curse. To be driven by calling, to be filled with passion, can be liberating. But it can also be painful. Artists understand this well. And entrepreneurs too. A purpose in business is what inspiration is about. But if it becomes all about money then what is the point. We have a greater purpose, to society, and to the earth. If no one gave a shit then the world as we know it would decay. Some would argue that this is already the case.

Greed is the biggest disease in the world today. Way worse than the corona virus, in my view. Kindness seems to be in very short supply. Giving back, to society, to people, and to the planet, appears to be more lip service than action. I know more stingy people than kind people.

When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire kind people. — Abraham Joshua Heschel

Chefs, writers, teachers, carpenters, tailors, film makers, doctors, magicians, mechanics, pilots, nurses, and the list goes on. These folk try and do something that makes our lives better. But what difference do hedge fund people make. Yes, I know I am naive and not a “money guy” but what the hell do all these parasites actually do besides gamble. What do all these financial engineers add to the world? They just take and take and take.

Money gives us options or choices. And there is one choice really: are you going to do something good with your resources, or are you going to hoard cash. I know many wealthy people. Some of them are in a kind of retirement mode and they are cool guys in my view. They had a lot of luck in life (like myself) and for sure, they worked hard (I still do), and some of them took risks (I need to try be more careful). Now they are all about “investing”. They often run what is referred to as a “family office”. But what about investing in society and the planet. What about a “giving back office”. I think it is most often the bare minimum. I may be wrong but I don’t think so.

I know there are so many sayings about money and happiness. Like that one classic Scottish Proverb that goes “Money can’t buy happiness but somehow, it’s more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.”

There is more to life than increasing its speed. — Mahatma Gandhi

If our ultimate purpose is to leave the world in a better place then we appear to be messing up. All this consumerism (of which I am also guilty of) has gone too far. Stuff, stuff and more stuff. Is this what all the cash hoarding is for? Is that what you are trying to buy? The planet.

The corona has led to a lot of isolation and soul searching and it has allowed many folk to see what matters, what is essential. When the virus is at bay, hopefully in the year ahead, and we all step back into the hustle and bustle, let’s try remember this year, and what it has taught us. Please God the world becomes humbler and kinder. And let us appreciate what we have. If you are reading this, I will bet you have more than enough.

And if you don’t have every gadget and the latest phone then you are probably going to be ok.