In an Over-Communicated, Intrusive World, Simple is Better
Ed

Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Part 2 – The 7 Cures for a Lean Wallet and The 5 Laws of Money

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Part 1 of this 2 Part series ends the synopsis of George Clason’s book “The Richest Man in Babylon,” but Clason raises an important question: Why should
so few men be able to acquire so much gold?

The answer is because they know how.

One may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away from a man what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability.

And so it was that the good king of Babylon sought out the richest man in Babylon to teach to others in his kingdom the secrets of his success.

This is a synopsis of what the richest man taught to the people
of Babylon:

The Seven Cures for a Lean Wallet

1) Start your wallet to fattening. Save one-tenth of all you earn. Remember that a part
of all I earn is mine to keep. Do this faithfully. Do not let the simplicity of this escape you.

When I ceased to pay out more than nine-tenths of my earnings,
I got along just as well.
I was not shorter than before, and, money came to me more easily than before.

2) Control your expenses. How is it that all do not earn the same yet all have lean wallets? Here is the truth: That which each of us calls our “necessary expenses” will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to
the contrary.

Confuse not necessary expenses with desires. We all have more desires than our earnings can gratify. Examine which of the accepted expenses of living can be reduced or eliminated. Let your motto be 100% of appreciated value demanded for every dollar spent.

Budget your expenses so that your actual necessities are met without spending more than nine-tenths of your earnings.

3) Make your money multiply. Protect your growing treasure by putting it to labor and increasing. Money in your wallet earns nothing. Money that we earn from our money is but a start; it is the earnings generating earnings that builds fortunes.

When the richest man in Babylon loaned money to the shield maker to buy bronze, he said this: “Each time I loaned money to the shield maker, I loaned back also the rental he had paid me. Therefore not only did my capital increase, but its earnings likewise increased.”

4) Guard your money from loss. Everyone has an idea of how to make quick money; few, however, have the evidence of making money to justify their idea, scheme or offer of quick riches. The first sound principle of investment is security for your principal.

Before you loan your money to any man assure yourself of his ability to repay your loan, and of his reputation to do so. Make no one a present of your hard-earned treasure.

Consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit. Such advice is often freely given for
the asking, and may possess more value than the amount you
are about to invest.

5) Make your home a profitable investment. When you can set aside only nine-tenths of what you earn to live, and can use a part of that nine-tenths to improve the investment in your housing, do it; owning your own home is also an investment that grows with your wealth.

Your family deserves a home they can enjoy and call their own. It builds a sense of stability and well-being.

6) Ensure a future income. Build income-producing assets that do not require you to work forever. We will all grow old and die.

You should prepare a suitable income for the days to come when you are no longer younger and cannot work as hard, and to make preparations for your family should you no longer be with them to comfort and support them. Provide in advance for the needs of your growing age, and the protection of your family.

7) Increase your
ability to earn.
Desire precedes accomplishment, and the desire must be strong and definite. When you have backed your desire for saving $1,000 with the strength and purpose to secure it, you can then save $2,000.

Desires must be simple and definite. Desires defeat their own purpose when they are too many, too confusing, or too difficult to accomplish. Cultivate your own powers to study and become wiser, more skillful, and more productive.

Here is more sage advice from Clason’s masterpiece on financial matters:

The 5 Laws of Money

If you had to choose, would you choose tons of money or wisdom? Most men would take the money, ignore the wisdom, and waste the money. Here is the wisdom:

1) Money comes gladly and in increasing quantities to any man who will put aside not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and the future of his family.

2) Money labors diligently and contently for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying unto itself in infinity if kept working diligently. Money multiplies itself in surprising fashion.

3) Money clings to
the protection of the cautious owner who invests it with the advice of men wise
in its handling.

4) Money slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes that he is not familiar with, or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep. The inexperienced handler of money who trusts his own judgment, and puts his money in investments which he is not familiar, always pays with his money for his experience.

5) Money flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings, or who follows the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers, or who
trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

Here is the hard lesson of the 5 Laws of Money: You cannot measure the value of wisdom in bags of money. Without wisdom, those who have it quickly lose money, but with wisdom, money can be secured by those who have it not.

This ends the condensation.

Copyright © 2020 Ed Bagley

I think it is true: God gives men 4 crucial gifts: The Gift of Life, The Gift of Choice, The Gift of Faith and The Gift of Women.

The Holy Trinity is really three persons in one—God the Father, the Creator of Creation as we know it; God the Son, Jesus, who by being crucified on the cross becomes our redeemer by canceling out our original sin passed down from Adam and also becomes  our savior by arising from the dead so that we might be heirs to eternal life in heaven; and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life as we know it and live it on Planet Earth.

Here is why we are the benefactors of God’s 4 crucial gifts:

The Gift of Life

Without the Gift of Life we would not exist. We exist through the grace of God, our Creator.  

Following is one example of why God remains relevant in today’s world:

Jesus said to His apostle Thomas (the “Doubting Thomas” as he would become known):

“You have seen me and now you believe. Blessed are those who have not seen me, yet still believe.”

Lesson: The knowledge of belief is a lifesaving gift. We are the only animal on Planet Earth who knows we will eventually die. When we die, we will lose our consciousness and experience either nothingness, or a life with our Father in heaven, even though we do not now know exactly what that afterlife will be.

Which is the better choice?

Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” He was not kidding. To be blunt, He said it is either my way or no way.

We know that all good things come to an end, and nothing stays the same.

The Holy Bible teaches us that no one can come to the Holy Father except through Jesus, and that while doing good works is a Christian practice that is highly valued, we will ultimately be saved by the grace of God, and not by our good works in helping others.

The apostle Mark tells us that Jesus said: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” 

What is important about this message from Jesus is that you believe in Him and His word. The fact that you are also baptized is an important act of saying that you believe in God’s word, you are entering a new life with Jesus, and you are washed clean of the past and your sins.

Baptism for an adult simply means that your heart, not your mind, is changed by a leap of faith in Jesus; that is, you have found a better, more fulfilling way to live life here on Earth, God’s place for us to live when we are granted the gift of life through the Holy

Spirit, the Lord, and giver of life.

No specific act of doing good, including baptism, is necessary for you to be saved. If you were a believer and practicing your belief according to God’s plan for your life, you would still be saved, even if you were not aware that baptism, according to some believers, is a necessary condition to be saved. You will be saved by your belief, not your baptism.

That said, baptism will give you additional protection as a Christian because it is an act of faith and belief in God’s word. In the Catholic faith, baptism is the first of seven sacraments that are vital to the Catholic faith.

Many Christians believe that being baptized opens you up to receiving the Holy Spirit, and the protection of God’s angels, who have been messengers of His holy word. 

God is really 3 persons in 1:

1) God, who created the universe and every good thing in it.

2) Jesus, who suffered an excruciating death on the cross to forgive our sins (the times when we have strayed from God’s plan for our lives), thus becoming our redeemer; and then arose from the dead (thereby conquering death on Earth), thus becoming our savior so that we might spend our continued life with God the Father in heaven.

3) and the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life on Earth, and the inspiration for every good deed that happens during our existence on Earth, including a sense of compassion, kindness, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, approval and, most important, love for one another.

The Gift of Choice

Jesus said: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” . . . “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (for example, if you do not want to be killed, then do not kill others).

This is simply said but difficult for us to achieve completely because of the devil, who appeals to our baser wants and desires in being human, including greed, envy, lust, lying, cheating, stealing, power, influence, pride, hatefulness, and gluttony.

The devil is any evil thing that prevents us from being the person God wants us to be, knowing that if we believe in God and follow Him, our life will be better for our belief and behavior. The devil is out to destroy our sense of goodness, and the spirit of God is always present to remind us that our spirit of goodness will always remain the better choice for our well-being.

We exercise our gift of choice when we sin simply because we are foolish. We foolishly think sinning gives us pleasure and perhaps a sense of satisfaction when, in fact, it ultimately gives us nothing but heartache and unrest.

We think taking another drink (as an alcoholic), taking another drug (as a drug addict), consciously lying, cheating and stealing (to increase our own wealth and material possessions at the expense of others), or giving into concupiscence (having an affair with our fellow worker or casual acquaintance for the thrill of the excitement, attention and ego boost) will give us more happiness and pleasure when, in fact, it does just the opposite—we yearn for more of what we should not have or do, then desire more, and are never satisfied.

There might be some sense of satisfaction but there can be no real happiness and peace of mind when we sin. All sin leaves us with is the desire for more of the wrong tonic—guilt, shame, uneasiness, or all three.

We want to do better, but we do not choose to do better because sacrifice, discipline, and loyalty seem even more difficult than sinning.

The choice between doing good and evil is not a concept, it is a real life choice we face every day and every moment of our lives. Every choice in life that we make has a consequence, and some consequences are more severe to our survival than others.

That is why sinning becomes such a lure; some of our sins do not provide us with immediate feedback on the long-term consequences of our actions (it takes very little time to become an alcoholic, a drug addict, or an adulterer).

The beauty of the gift of choice is that when we do things that will destroy us, we always have—because of our gift of free will—the opportunity to change our course of action by making a better choice. And better choices will produce better consequences.

When we sin and do not believe in Jesus, it is never too late to accept God the Farther, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit into our lives, and benefit from the blessings, mercy and grace that God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit can bring us.

Lesson: If you hear his voice today, harden not your heart. When in doubt, follow your heart, not your mind.

In the Book of Proverbs, we read that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

It is our heart that rules our final destiny, not our mind. Our mind is the devil’s playground, our heart is God’s place of rebirth and redemption, wherein goodness always remains an option through our forgiveness by the grace of God.

Lesson: God will reward our good choices and forgive our bad ones. Only the devil will encourage our bad choices; God will never do so because He is incapable of sin.

The more you do what God wants, the less the devil will influence your life, but you must continually choose to do the right thing with the right motives for the right reasons to get the right results.

 Lesson: Trust in the Lord in all things and lean not unto your own understanding (your way of thinking).

The Gift of Faith

When everyone has abandoned us, and there is no hope that our life will get any better anytime soon, we can always count of this reality: God is with us and will never abandon us in our hour of need. We just need faith in our choice to follow God’s plan for our life.

Our gift of faith is joined at the hip by our longing for hope. Hope that there is something positive in our future that causes us to hang onto the precious gift of life. When a person loses all sense of hope they are a candidate for suicide to end it all.

We can solve our problems, loneliness and discouragement by using the talents He has given us. We must pray like it depends upon God, but act like it depends on us. God gives the birds food to eat, but He does not put it in their nest—they must work by going out and finding it, and so it is with us. The more effort we make doing the right things with right motives, the more God will recognize and reward our efforts.

Some people think that because God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit can do anything, they should do everything. Some common examples of apparent injustice happening to helpless people include a child dying of an incurable disease, people being killed by a natural disaster, or someone drinking and driving and killing an entire family during a head-on collision.

These are all tragic events that are part of our everyday life. We wish these events were not part of our everyday life, but they are, and we feel helpless and inadequate in preventing them. The prevalent thought is: How can a God of justice and mercy allow this to happen?

The answer is as complex as the triune God itself, the trinity of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In brief, if God were to prevent every tragedy on Planet Earth from happening, He would have to take away our free will, destroying our ability to act (make conscious choices) in our own self best-interest.

The problem is, without the ability to accept or reject God by using our free will, we would have no way to connect with God after death here on Earth without our conscious choice to accept and believe in Him while we are still alive.

Another consideration lies in the oneness of goodness. If we never experienced both good and evil, we would not be able to distinguish the difference between the two behaviors.

We can experience unwanted tragedy and suffer from our bad decisions and mistakes in judgment. We can also learn from our mistakes, and when doing wrong, make a different, better choice to do the right thing with right thinking and right motives the next time.

We should never assign blame for our circumstances because, when we blame others, we give up our power to change. And if we lack the will for change, there is no one who can show us the way. Not even Jesus Christ. When you turn your back on Jesus, He turns His back on you.

It is important to appreciate that while we will never be perfect (we will sin because it is in our nature), we can learn from our mistakes.

When we encounter adversity and do not what to do or say, prayer provides as answer to fill the vacuum of doubt, fear and uncertainty. There is tremendous power in prayer.

Even in the best of times, we could and should pray in thankfulness for power and glory of the triune God in our life.

It is also important to appreciate that adversity does not build character. Just as we can learn from our mistakes, we can gain character from our disappointments. It is our response to disappointment that builds character. We cannot always prevent what happens to us, but we can always control our attitude and response to what happens to us in everyday life.

Fear and fatigue block the mind. Confront both, and courage and confidence will flow into us. Understand that when stability becomes a habit, maturity and clarity follow. Do not be confused by the devil.

God gives us the opportunity to live our life on a higher plain by exercising our ability to

choose wisely. This not only pleases God but helps us better prepare for our life after death if, by God’s grace, we are able to join Him with His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit in heaven. In heaven we will not have to worry about evil. We may well be helping people avoid evil by watching over them from afar.

We should continually praise and thank God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit for their blessings, and most certainly for their mercy and grace in our present life.

The Gift of Women

God recognized man’s loneliness and created women to help him along his way. The union of man and woman allows for the creation of new life, a most precious gift indeed.

If man only had himself he would get bored and tired in a hurry. Women were made in part to listen to man’s greatest accomplishments, worst failures and absolute foolishness.

Women are the equal, if not superior of men, in many good traits that matter in the union of relationships involving both men and women–compassion, kindness, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, approval and, most important, love for one another to name just a few.

Some men say they cannot live with women or without women. That is pure nonsense. If men did not have women in their life, Adam would have died in the Garden of Eden alone and life as we know would have stopped.

It is women, with the help of men, who conceive and bear the children who continue human existence on earth. We will all die eventually and if we do not see the generation coming behind us, life would not be as joyful, despite the challenges, as we carry on to our eventual destiny.

While it may be difficult for some men to admit, women can complete men, meaning that a man is always better off with a woman in his life. It is possible for men to complete women. The union of a man and a woman can make both better as a unit operating together rather than apart.

There are other gifts in our life, including God-given talent, intelligence and creativeness to mention three, but without a proper appreciation and understanding of first four great gifts, the rest would be window dressing. We create and develop every other gift in life because of the first four.

If you have read this far, you have a lot of stick-to-itiveness and patience. Whatever you think of one man’s opinion and belief, remember that it is one man’s opinion of the crucial importance of life—there are others with just as strong or greater beliefs.

Financial Thoughts on Investing by Warren Buffett

(Ed’s Note: The following condensation is from The Tao of Warren Buffett, written by Mary Buffett and David Clark and available for sale at Amazon and bookstores nationwide. I am always impressed by what Warren Buffett has to say and am doing this condensation to help promote their book.)

On Investing: I made my first investment at age 11. I was wasting my life up until then.
(Ed’s Note: The first lesson of investing is patience. Start early and sit on your investment until it has time to hatch, it may take 20 or 30 years to hatch, but if you are in the right investment you will do very well. Do not keep moving your money into and out of different investments—all that does is make your broker rich at your expense.)

(Ed’s Note: For more of Warren Buffet’s advice go to the menu bar above and click on Financial Thoughts.)

“A Man for All Seasons” Demonstrates What Integrity Should Be in the Middle Ages and Now

 

A Man for All Seasons – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“A Man for All Seasons” poses the question: What would a man sacrifice for his principles?

When King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) seeks approval to divorce his aging wife Catherine of Aragon who could not bear him a son, and marry his mistress Anne Boleyn,
the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church stand
in his way.

Henry VIII’s new Chancellor of England and Cardinal–
Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield)—stands in his way as well. Henry VIII wants Sir Thomas More’s blessing in his action but does not
get it as Sir Thomas More, a good Catholic and Cardinal, will not go
along with such heresy.

More resigns as chancellor, seeking to live out his life as a private citizen, but Henry VIII will settle for nothing less than More’s public approval of his headstrong course. Sir Thomas refuses to either endorse or denounce the King’s action, and remains a man of principle.

Great effort is made to convince More to change his stance on Henry VIII’s action. One of More’s rivals, Thomas Cromwell (Leo McKern); another religious, Cardinal Wolsey (Orson Welles); and The Duke of Norfolk (Nigel Davenport)
all take their turns at More.

One example is when More testifies before an inquiry committee and Norfolk attempts to persuade him to sign an oath of allegiance:

Norfolk: “Look, I’m not a scholar, and frankly I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not—but Thomas, look at these names! You know these men! Can’t you do as I did and come along with us for fellowship?”

More: “And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Heaven for doing according to your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing according to mine, will you come along with me—for fellowship?”

There are several lines by More that merit mention but there is not enough space to do so. Here is one of the best: “I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by
a short route to chaos.”

Sir Thomas More was a very smart and savvy—as well as principled—man.

Henry VIII gets every person of any consequence in England to sign his oath (the Act of Supremacy), endorsing his action, except Sir Thomas who will not sign, and remains silent as to the reason why he will not sign.

Cromwell is an English statesman and the chief minister to King Henry VIII. It is Cromwell who presides over King Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon in 1533 and Henry’s subsequent break with the Roman Catholic Church.

When More proves himself to be loyal to King Henry VIII by not speaking out against him and also shows himself to be a loyal subject by not inciting rebellion, Cromwell appears to prosecute Sir Thomas out of personal spite.

In the end, Sir Thomas is the only person in England who will die for his principles, and commit himself to God for judgment. He is betrayed by an ambitious, lower level appointed attorney general, Richard (John Hurt), whose outright lie condemns Sir Thomas to be beheaded.

Sir Thomas More loses his head (no pun intended) but most importantly, not his soul. Sir Thomas is later canonized as Saint Thomas More by the Roman Catholic Church.

Henry VIII subsequently dies of syphilis, and the evil Thomas Cromwell who orchestrates Sir Thomas More’s tragic demise is himself judged a traitor to England 5 years later and is also beheaded. And what was the FINAL fate of More’s adversaries — Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey and The Duke of Norfolk? Only God knows.

The riff subsequently leads to England’s split from the Roman Catholic Church and the creation of the Anglican Church, the Church of England.

A Man for All Seasons does not deviate from the truth of Sir Thomas More’s stance, and as such provides a role model for acting with right thinking and right motives, even at the cost of one’s life.

What makes A Man for All Seasons even more impressive is that the plot for the movie is based on the true story of Sir Thomas More. Sir Thomas More was a scholar and statesman who became the leading humanist of the Renaissance Era.

A Man for All Seasons is
a story about everything that is right in England and life (Sir Thomas More’s integrity to his principles) and everything that is wrong in England and life (greed, avarice, lust, lying, cheating, stealing, the corruption of power, and the corruption of religious leaders).

A Man for All Seasons was writer Robert Bolt’s greatest success, first as a play and then as the screenplay for its 1966 movie release following a successful Broadway run. Bolt’s 16th Century period piece has exacting details of the era.

A Man for All Seasons would win 6 Oscars at the 1967 Academy Awards: Best Picture (Fred Zinnemann), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Writing (Robert Bolt), Best Actor (Paul Scofield), Best Cinematography (Ted Moore) and Best Costume Design (Elizabeth Haffenden and Joan Bridge).

The film also received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Robert Shaw) and Best Supporting Actress (Wendy Hiller as Sir Thomas More’s wife Alice).

In addition the movie garnered another 27 wins and 5 nominations, including Golden Globe wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor and a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Interestingly, Charlton Heston lobbied heavily for the role of Sir Thomas More, but was not seriously considered. Richard Burton was offered the part and turned it down.

The producers originally wanted Laurence Olivier as Thomas More and Alec Guinness as Wosley, but Director Fred Zinnemann insisted on Paul Scofield and Orson Welles in the roles. The rest is history. Zinnemann obviously knew how to direct a great film and create a huge box office success.