A friend asked about the impact of wealth on the children of families owning significant assets. What’s the secret, he asked, to helping such children achieve reasonably well-adjusted adulthood? Indeed, I was reminded of one client who shared his fear that making his kids rich would make them “poor” human beings.
Here’s the answer I offered — recognizing the complexity of the challenge: Parent’s must help their children understand that wealth — while it may provide ease — does not provide easy answers. Only through work — meaning only through the investment of one’s self — does life gain substance and meaning. Work does not necessarily mean “working for pay.” It means working for achievement and it means working at relationships. If one doesn’t work at fulfillment through achievement and relationships, then things don’t work — and life doesn’t work very well either.