When many of us watch football matches, we almost always have a better team selection than the coach. We almost always have a better team formation than the coach. And we almost always know how best a team should proceed with its attack or defend its goal area.
Some have expanded the scope of this tendency and taken it to the territory of how the rich spend their money. Usually ‘knowing far better than the rich themselves’ how to spend their money. And ‘showing’ them what they should spend their money on instead of whatever else catches their fancy.
World’s richest man, Jeff Bezos ignited a rash of ‘lectures’ along these lines last week when he donated $690,000 to the Australia Bush Fire Relief Fund. Those who heard he makes $2,489 per second, called up the calculator function in their phones to calculate how much he makes in a minute. $149,353! How many just resisted the temptation to convert that to Naira?
In a nutshell, many of the critics considered his gift a paltry amount compared to how much he has left. They behave as if it is their right to tell people like Bezos how to spend their money. Just the other day, I heard a line in the song of a popular Lagos-based artist in which he declared that a certain oil billionaire cannot spend all that money himself (Olamide, the artist, was referring to Mr Femi Otedola; telling him how to spend his money. Though a rich man himself, Olamide was simply echoing one of the entitlement claims of some ‘street folks.’ Of course, they constitute a huge part of his fan base, and the creative artist that he is, compels him to maintain his bond with them using nuances and particulars they can easily relate to. It must be emphasised though that this particular brand of entitlement is not limited to ‘street folks.’ We hear and see manifestations of it from time to time from ‘non-street folks.’
Posturing as if they have all the facts, which they do not have, some of these critics indulge in this vice, something the exercise is hardly ever called, based on assumptions. How many of them for example, know Mr Bezos annual salary? How many from this group will believe if they are told his annual salary is $81,840? Also, how many know that his $117billion is not raw cash in banks but his estimated worth of Amazon shares?
Yet among those who have these facts, the criticism may yet persist because they want to equate how much he gave compared to Leonardo DiCaprio’s $3m; Chris Hemsworth’s $1m; Sir Elton John’s $1m, etc.
The real worry is that these persons do not know that they do not know all the facts, especially the complete range of factors that determine whether or not someone parts with his/her substance; how much exactly or the particular moment for the exercise.