The Daily Buffett

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Amplifying Identity

November 6th

Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.

Warren Buffett

Wealth is not a transformative potion that recasts individuals into superior versions of themselves. Instead, it functions more like a booster, escalating one's inherent traits, whether they are commendable or not.

There's a tendency to attribute a host of virtues to the affluent, viewing success as a testament to their moral mettle or character. However, the reality is that wealth doesn't discriminate between the noble and the ignoble. It merely amplifies what is already present.

Viewing wealth as a magnifier helps us understand this dynamic. The benevolent become more benevolent; the abrasive become more so. Wealth, therefore, is not a benchmark of morality but a reflector of existing attributes. The emphasis should be on the individual, not the affluence they command.

Let this encourage a focus on character building before wealth accumulation. For when wealth arrives, it merely uncovers our truest selves, not morph us into the person we wish to be.

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