There is nothing sadder to me than a person who has generated a lot of money by legal or illegal means and then have nothing to show for it or pass on to their family.
Can somebody please tell me what’s hot about making a ton of money; ballin’ outta control; and then losing it all and having nothing to show for it?
You can find yourself at the top of your game and with a heightened sense of accomplishment, but because of a bad decision you can find yourself at rock bottom and your money and material possessions gone.
And let’s face it, it’s not like the examples aren’t right there in our face; front and center.
I can list a number of names and that still won’t come close to listing the number of folks who have squandered their wealth or had to give up their wealth, because they either thought they were invincible or had no plan to deal with the money they accumulated.
Whether it was M.C. Hammer or Allen Iverson, they are a couple of the countless number of high profile celebrities that have lost it all.
But then, you have the folks who aren’t considered celebrities outside of their respective circles or neighborhoods, who have fallen victim to the same ignorant mistakes.
English poet Thomas Tusser is attributed with the well-known proverb; “A fool and his money are soon parted,” which is pretty much self-explanatory.
There are many fools who voluntarily and involuntarily part ways with their money and they didn’t even know it was coming.
As I think about the number of instances and stories where a person who thought they were so much smarter and different than those who had come before them ended up making the same dumb and ignorant mistake, it irks me.
I believe that this irks me the most because many of the people that I have seen, who have turned to a life of illegal activity make a ton of cash, yet fail to implement an exit strategy to get out.
They get so caught up and are so greedy, that they are blinded from seeing that the road they are traveling will end up the same way as others who traveled a similar path before them.
Here is a quick activity that I’d like for you to do. I challenge anybody to name one brother or sister, who was involved in illegal activity for a significant period of time that was never caught.
Don’t worry, I’ll wait.....
If you did happen to name someone, just give it a little time and they will be joining the ranks of the captured and exposed. Now this isn’t an attempt for me to rag on anyone who has been or is currently involved in any illegal activities, however, it is an attempt for me to point out just how foolish any person is who chooses to make a career out of doing illegal activity and has nothing to show for it.
If you are going to do dirt and be a criminal, at least have a proper exit strategy and retirement plan. How many times have you heard somebody say, “Yeah, you know such-and-such got out the game and invested in XYZ,” or “You heard that such-and-such stopped doing so-and-so and has a retirement plan.”
Think about the 2007 Denzel Washington film American Gangster, which is based on the life of Frank Lucas. Lucas was an American organized crime boss, and former heroin dealer, who operated in Harlem during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He had the brilliant idea to cut out the Italian mafia middlemen and instead got his heroin straight from the source in Southeast Asia. Lucas allegedly imported his heroin by hiding it the caskets of fallen US soldiers. At the peak of his drug dealing career, Lucas was making close to $1 million per day and had an impressive $52 million net worth stashed away in Cayman Islands bank accounts. When he was arrested, all of Lucas’ assets were seized.
Whether it was Lucas, Nicky Barnes, “Freeway” Ricky Ross or Al Capone, none of them were immune of being caught and losing everything they had while they rotted away in prison. The only thing they had to show for their efforts was jail time and stories about what they used to do and what they used to have.
If you have the ability to get wealth, don’t squander it. You need to think about your children and their children’s children.
I think about the stories of all the old school grandmothers who scrubbed floors back in the day, during segregation, and were still able to provide for their family; put food on the table; send all of their kids to college; and then leave a significant inheritance for their kids.
If you are currently caught in a life of crime and illegal activity, it’s not too late to stop. If you have benefitted financially from that life, then make the wise decision to stop what you are doing and do something positive with that money and with your life.
At many cemeteries, you can see tombstones all around. All of them have a noticeable distinction. They have a date of birth and a date of death. They also have a dash mark that separates the two dates. That dash mark represents the things that we have done on this Earth and the things that we didn’t do. In other words, that little dash mark is your legacy.
When you leave this Earth how will you be remembered and what will that dash mark mean to others who take the time to remember you? Don’t be remembered as a fool.