How is drinking alcohol like making a lot of money?

Alcohol and Money

There was an article on WebMD ten years ago entitled, “Is Alcohol a Truth Serum?” It centered around a controversy at the time where someone made anti-Semitic remarks during a drunken tirade. Though the article did seem to draw a line between alcoholic behavior and social drinking the punch line still remained:

Alcohol can’t make you think or feel things — Gary L. Malone, MD

Meaning, at least for the social drinker, alcohol is indeed a truth serum because somewhere inside you need to believe the thoughts you express when drunk. More practically one can argue that everyone has beliefs that, if released without inhibition, would cause us to add ‘mea maxima culpa’ to the end of a good portion of our sentences. So, is ‘who we are’ answered by everything we think or what we end up actually doing?

I believe we need faults to evaluate and adjust our actions. We need faults for perspective, measurement, and oddly enough sympathy. The real question, however, is are the faults supporting who you are and what you do, or are they being held back with a wall just to fit into whatever the social norm is that surrounds you. Perhaps it is this latter case where alcohol crumbles that wall and exposes what you want to do as if no one is watching.

So, how does this relate to money? I believe in the exactly the same thing as Gary Vaynerchuk when he says:

There is no such thing as ‘selling out’, or fame, or money, or more eyeballs on them, changing anyone. It is very simple. The more eyeballs, the more attention, etc, exposes who you are.

With money comes power. Power does not corrupt; it just allows you to do more of what you want to do. The mainstream media (meaning all of the Constant Negative News networks out there) tend to make us think most people who have a lot of money are all a bunch of drunken assholes. Yes, I am sure everyone knows that person who is an embarrassment to be around when they have had one too many — however, for most of us what comes out of our mouths under the influence is no different than what we speak sober. Most millionaires are completely invisible — they truly are the millionaires next door. If there was ever an analogy to the alcoholic with money it is probably the case where money comes too quickly into place without the work or knowledge to deal with it. A prime example of this is winning the lottery, either literally or through the luck of being a truly overnight success, which is an exceedingly rare instance.

My challenge to you, assuming you believe money corrupts people, is to think about another possibility. That is, the possibility where, in those cases you are using as references, the corruption was there before the money.

(Originally posted on Medium)