Comparison Unlimited

Comparison Unlimited


Bill Gates has been the world’s richest man. Any other billionaire would be poor by comparison. The scale of comparison is unlimited, and is no basis to gauge the wealth of a person. By the same token, it is grossly unfair to measure the intelligence of a person in his own field of specialization with another in a different order. In layman’s terms, how can you compare an orange with an apple?


Rich or poor is relative. Nobody can live the same lifestyle like Bill Gates. no matter whether in the millionaire or billionaire category. By Bill Gates’ standard, a farmer living in the rural sector may be considered poor. But by his own standard, though lacking the modern amenities, he’s self-sufficient, contented and happy. Wealth can be in the form of the intangibles – contentment, happiness, fulfillment, peace and harmony. It is said the best things in life are free, and free from worry and care.

In this modern age, we tend to measure success in terms of wealth. What then is success? By definition, I would say that success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. The basis of measurement in terms of money is unsatisfactory as the degree or scale of comparison has limitless end. Our late Kerry Packer could not match up with the Microsoft giant. On his own in Australia, he was the richest man. The Chinese has a saying about comparing the loftiness of mountains.

To the musician his worthy ideal would mean having the honour of performing in Carnegie Hall to a great audience. A scientist’s success could mean the attainment of a Nobel Prize. An athlete’s thrill lies in his achieving Olympic Gold medals. These three categories of men are all successful in their own rights, though not so much in monetary terms.

There is a pyramid of hierarchy towards which men aspire. However, like climbing Mt. Everest, there’s no end in the fields of human endeavour. Realistically, not all can achieve such great heights. The fundamental rule in human living is to live as best as you could according to your” needs”. When it comes to” wants” there can be no end! Can you be happy with a million or a billion?

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent


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