… and the advantage to privilege is… again… what?

The longer I live, the more I wonder what the advantage to vast wealth, fame, and privilege really are.

I thank Hollywood and pro sports for presenting such compelling reasons to question this.

Certainly, not all who reach extreme pinnacles of wealth, fame and privilege become corrupt and/or crash and burn, but in my experience, a large number do.  And few groupings of people are exempt.  Certainly not entertainers, athletes, professionals, politicians, or ministers.  Everyone is corruptible. 

By corrupt I simply becoming self-consumed, non-functioning, and diverted from one’s intended purpose.  Often functioning by a new set of rules we’ve created for ourselves that are seemingly above, or at least detached from the rules that apply to the rest of humanity.

Case in point…

Now I don’t mean to isolate Charlie.  He just happens to be the “Corrupt de Jour”.

And surely we have not forgotten…

And these are just two examples that happen again and again and again. 

In light of these examples, and I really do not mean to judge because how do I know how I would be if I were a global figure with vast wealth and power?, but in light of these examples, I am glad to be of more typical means and to have had experiences that woke me up from the pathway of corruption that I was on.  I am glad that I come from a hard-working family and need to be one myself to have what I have.

In this light, the pain was worth it.  Even if I am free to blow it all again if I get complacent.

I am grateful to have re-learned the value of honesty and that true wealth is in the things money doesn’t buy… a great marriage, great relationship with my kids, good health, serenity, and a relationship with God.

What, besides some comforts and conveniences, could vast “privilege” add to my life?  Nothing.




About Chaz

Husband, father, brother, son, friend. Sober member of AA. Grateful for the life God gave me and for the happy struggle of recovery.
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6 Responses to … and the advantage to privilege is… again… what?

  1. kweenmama says:

    I have a plaque on my wall that says, “The most important things in life are not things.” You’ve said it well when you state that the things money can’t buy–a great marriage, great relationship with my kids, good health, serenity, and a relationship with God–are what is most important.

    • Chaz says:

      Funny thing (sick really), I used to honestly believe that to believe that the best things in life are free was just a rationalization around not being motivated enough to gain wealth. Duh!

      I do believe though that if we have the best things in life…. the things we do not have to pay for…. we are in far better positions to be blessed financially and materially… and then do the right things with our abundance.

      If we arent mature enough to handle what we gain, it will likely ruin us and harm others. And perhaps this is what we see with the corruption of those with vast wealth and fame. Tiger woods would be another great example.

      Scary thing is that how do any of us know how we would behave if we were that wealthy or that famous? We don’t. It may very well be a “there but by the grace”, circumstance.

      Thanks for th reply.



  2. I think you’re so right about maturity, wealth, and privilege. So many child stars end up in Lindsay Lohan-type situations because they don’t have the tools to deal with their fame and wealth at such an early age. Of course, exceptions like Emma Watson and Natalie Portman also abound, which speaks to (I think) parents who help these child stars keep their feet on the ground.

    • Chaz says:

      Hi Heather…. I am glad too to admit that there are indeed many who do remain balanced and handle their fame and fortune well. Or certainly appear to.

      I watch a bit of Citizen Kane on tv other night… The movie portrays this cycle of corruption in a similar way to my observations of it. The best of seemingly humble and selfless intentions starting out, turn to total selfishness and detachment from reality over time. Why? Does wealth and privilige buffer us from the realities of life and interaction that we begin to be spared consequences that we would otherwise have guide us back to centre?

      Surely this is nothing new. One of the figures in the Bible most beloved to Jews and Christians alike, King David, went from being a humble servant to taking another man’s wife and using his power to then have him killed by sending him to the front lines of war.

      I thereby remain cautious of judgement. What would I do if sudden and enormous wealth an fame landed on me? I hope I would remain in the realm of the upright, honourable, sensible, mature, and humble. But I havent walked in those moccasins [ yet 🙂 ]. I would simply hope to not be tainted and hope that I took the necessary precautions to avoid it.

      Thanks for the reply.



  3. Piper Bayard says:

    It’s so true! Ultimately, all we have is who we are. Sure, I enjoy having the mortgage paid and food money, but seriously, it’s like my dad used to say, “Your belly can only be so full and your breath just so whiskey-sour.” After sorting through my mom’s modest belongings after she died, I look at my stuff, and all I see is a pain in the butt for someone when I’m gone. Thanks for another great post. I love your blog.

    • Chaz says:

      Thanks Piper…

      Yes, what we can’t take with us, we leave for others to clean up. Good point. Makes good argument for life insurance. Even if it is just used to hire a good auctioneer for the estate sale 🙂



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