Who out there has not heard some variation of the old expression, “climbing the ladder?”
It seems the concept is a fairly universal one.
What’s maybe not so widespread, is an understanding of what “the ladder” actually is.
It may be fairer to say the term, and terms like it, don’t mean the same thing to all people.
That said, where I don’t think we can come to an all-encompassing definition, I do believe we can arrive at a meaning, a good many would count acceptable to discuss that ladder, and the idea of climbing it.
I’m pretty sure the majority of folks out there, want to achieve successes of various types.
Some among us, may never have dreamt of being rich, powerful, or famous. I would argue at least one of these, is an ambition the majority of individuals, have a desire to accomplish.
Here’s the first point of this piece. In order to climb a ladder, there must be one.
Take the idea of becoming wealthy.
First, there must be some form of currency. We’re not necessarily talking about notes, and coins here. In systems that work around barter, the currency might be cows, houses, and rutabagas.
Still, some sort of thing one may possess, which itself has value, must exist or be created in order to make it possible, for people to gain it in sufficient quantity, to be well off.
This implies a second thing, there must be some sort of standard—either personal, or societal, or both—that gives some idea, who has achieved that goal of attaining a necessary amount of assets, to be considered affluent.
That measurement system, may not be so easy to nail down.
Here’s an interesting thing though, in order to go from not having to having, there must be some mechanism or set thereof, which allows or allow, passage from one to the other.
I submit that pathway typically has a couple of components in a social unit with values, that aren’t horribly skewed.
The first is, it’s normally expected, that one must work hard to manage to get, to the place of plenty.
A second, would be that the person doing so, would have to behave in ways that are commonly moral, ethical, and legal. You may gain by doing otherwise, but you’re always at risk of losing. That’s true whether you act properly or not, but in my way of thinking, even more so if you don’t, than if you do.
Though there may be others, there’s a third that comes to mind. That would be having the smarts to get from point a to point b.
To be clear, that doesn’t necessarily mean, some sort of all-knowing intelligence. Some folks prove to just be good, at traveling that road.
And as I sit and think about my list, I realize there’s at least one more helpful—if not required—asset.
That would be, tenacity. You must be willing to work through obstacles, to continue when roadblocks loom.
Little in life comes easy. Seldom do things like wealth building, happen speedily.
Because that’s true, you have to be willing, and able, to “tough it out.”
So I think we’ve defined some important traits one must come to hold, if one intends to become well monied.
The next consideration that comes to me, is the types of bottlenecks a person might encounter, on that road.
To begin with, there will always be naysayers—people who’ll tell you it’s just not possible to achieve your desired end.
Additionally, there’ll be those, who insist it’s in some wise immoral to even attempt to possess more than enough, to live a meager existence.
Even if we assume that’s true, there’s a level of achievement that must occur to get, and stay there. That means themark I try to get to, is still just that, a point on the scale.
Sometimes, the folks who insist there’s a point at which someone has too much, will get into positions, where they have the ability to set some stopping place. At that point, they may seek to establish tools by which confiscation of what one has, over and above their assessed level, is possible.
This may seem like a grand “leveling mechanism.” In truth though, it’s pretty much invariably a bad idea.
Why? Because of the aforementioned attributes needed to achieve success. If one person comes to a position of power, such that they can take what’s reasonably gained from the gainer, the one having done the work, loses incentive to continue to acquire.
Does that sound desirable? If so, perhaps it’s because you’ve failed to consider the potential collateral damage, that will almost assuredly occur.
When a person seeks to gain, he or she will almost without exception, come to a place where doing so, will be more than he or she, can manage alone.
It’s at this point that they’ll enlist the aid of others.
Smart folks taking on help, will make it worth the while—to the extent they’re able—of those they employ, to be there.
Then there’s the idea that, once you get to a certain point, holding on to what you’ve managed to gain is generally a bad plan. Things perish. At best, excessive possessions sit, and gather dust.
You might ask, “So why gather things in the first place?”
The question isn’t a bad one. The thing many fail to recognize though, is that such things are at least brought together, and often, go through some additional processes, to make them useful. Like it or not, this is what such folks manage to accomplish en masse.
From there, others can more easily come by the things they need and want, by obtaining them through trade, from those who have them.
In the end, I guess my point is this. A ladder to various places at least should and really probably must exist. Some will argue for that path’s hindrance. For the most part, I contend against such perspectives because of their net effect on not just the wealthy, but everybody who might benefit from one climbing that ladder. You may disagree. If you do, I’d like to hear your logic.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.