Saturday, December 11, 2010


Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
   do not trust your own cleverness. 
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
   for they will surely sprout wings
   and fly off to the sky like an eagle. Proverbs 23:4-5

Several weeks ago I was at a party with some friends and one of them asked me if I had ever seen the show “Iconoclast” before. After being floored by the fact that I had not they went on to tell me about the concept of the show. The show features two very successful people from different disciplines and brings them together to have a conversation. It is a sort of a casual, mutual interview.

This sounded interesting. I’ve always found value in listening to highly successful people talk to teach other. They tend to share secrets to their mastery of success that an average Joe journalist could never tease out of them.

It’s one of those “it takes one to know one” kind of situations.

The episode of Iconoclast that my friend suggested that I watch was the one about Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Richard Branson. Desmond Tutu is a famous activist and cleric who was a vocal opponent of Apartheid and a champion of peace and love around the globe. Richard Branson is the man behind Virgin Records and Virgin Airlines. He started as a guy who wanted to put out records from bands that he liked and became a billionaire entrepreneur who now wants to help regular folks become astronauts.

The fascinating thing about the episode is that it showed they have a genuine and long lasting friendship. Branson teased Desmond about things related to his priestly duties and not being able to swim. Tutu teased Branson about being filthy rich and his spirituality. They did this while laughing and splashing about in a pool on Branson’s private island.

The thing that touched me the most was when Desmond Tutu asked Branson what advice he would give to a young person who wants to be rich. Branson said that he would tell the kid not to have to goal of amassing great wealth, but rather to do something meaningful.
This struck me as being so incredibly true.

When we pursue what is meaningful to us then we receive more than just the material gain that may result form our endeavors. We also receive the fulfillment that comes from living out the purpose for our lives.

But when we pursue money we are chasing after something that does not have any life. And often times what occurs in this pursuit is that we leave our true lives behind to get this thing that we so desperately thought we wanted.

There is nothing wrong with money. Money is a great tool that can give us the material freedom do fully live our lives. But when we have our eyes fixed on it, things get out of balance.

This is a lesson that I am learning right now. Just like many of you a few extra dollars could do a brotha a world of good. But it is nice to be reminded that the most important thing is to go after what means most to us in this world.

Follow the path of your purpose with faith and courage and I’m sure that you’ll pick up enough coins along the way to meet all of your needs and wants.  

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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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