The Hoarding Mentality:
People earn a lot, but will not spend on themselves or others. Many pinch pennies and will die willing all money to their heirs or for the government to take over. The best part is that the heirs may, with changing times, blow away the inheritance, may not do the rituals for their departed ancestors and ultimately the one who earns will not enjoy this life, afterlife or next life rewards – how sad.
Below is one such example!
Meet the Millers
Consider the strange story of Alex and Imogene Miller of East Orange, VT. They eked out an existence on a small farm. Alex would scrounge rusty nails from burnt buildings to repair his roof. He drove a ratty VW Beetle, and when it died, he found another even more ratty, and another. The rusting carcasses littered his yard. Alex died in 1993 and Imogene died in 1996. The local church took up a collection so they could be buried in the churchyard, and the state began the process of taking the farm for taxes. That would have been the end of a sad story, except…
Forget the VW Beetle…
A 1916 Stutz Bearcat ($155,000 US), a Springfield Rolls Piccadilly Roadster ($115,000 US), made in Illinois; a 1928 Stutz Blackhawk Boattail Speedster ($78,000 US), a 1921 Stutz Bearcat ($58,000 US), a 1920 Bearcat ($50,000 US), a 1928 Franklin ($4500 US) and a 1923 HCS ($14,500 US) lurked inside the shed.
While preparing the estate for auction, the sheriff discovered a cache of bearer bonds taped to the back of a mirror. That triggered a comprehensive search of the house and outbuildings. The estate auction would eventually be handled by Christie’s and it would bring out collectors from all over the world. 1913 Stutz Bearcat went for just $105,000 US.
It seems that Alex Miller was a Rutgers grad, son of a wealthy financier. He lived in Montclair, NJ, where he founded Miller’s Flying Service in 1930. He operated a gyrocopter for mail and delivery service through the 30’s. But the Millers had a secret, and they moved from Montclair when they needed room for it.
Choosing to live low profile, and paranoid about tax collectors, Miller moved to the farm in Vermont, and took his collections with him. Most of his cash had been exchanged for gold and silver bars and coins, which he buried in various locations around the farm. He carefully disassembled his gyrocopter, and stored it in an old one-room schoolhouse on his property. He then built a couple of dozen sheds and barns out of scrap lumber and recycled nails. In the sheds he put his collection.
Alex Miller had an obsession with cars. Not just any cars, but Stutz cars, Blackhawks, Bearcats, Super Bearcats, DV16’s and 32’s. He had been buying them since the 1920’s. When Stutz went out of business, he bought a huge pile of spare parts, which was also carefully stored away in his sheds.
Sometimes he would stray, and buy other “special cars”, including Locomobiles, a Stanley, and a Springfield Rolls Royce. He never drove them. He’d simply move them into his storage sheds in the middle of the night, each car wrapped in burlap to protect it from any prying eyes. Over the years, the farm appeared to grow more and more forlorn, even as the collection was growing.
Occasionally he would sell some parts to raise cash. Rather than dipping into his cache, he would labour for hours making copies of the original parts by hand.
Collectors knew him as a sharp trader, who had good merchandise but was prone to cheating. His neighbours had no clue at all, they thought Alex and Imogene were paupers, and often helped out with charity.
The auction was a three day circus, billed as the “Opening of King Stutz Tomb”. It attracted celebrity collectors, as well as thousands of curiosity seekers. The proceeds were in the millions, some items went for far more than their value in the frenzy. In the end, the IRS took a hefty chunk of the cash for back taxes, which proves the old adage about the only two sure things in life – death and taxes.
$2.18 million at auction
$1 million in gold
$75,000 in silver
$400,000 in stock
And they never got to enjoy it!
Which would you rather have: a fortune or a capacity for enjoyment?
If you want to know the value of money, then try to borrow only from someone you call your own. Friends will loan you plenty if you are well off, but will make excuses when your troubles are known.
Money often brings unhappiness, creating divisions within families when jealousy and greed arise. It is unfulfilled desires that would keep you on the path of sorrow and weaken close bonds and ties.
The tragedy of human history is that there is decreasing happiness in the midst of increasing comforts and luxuries. So we are comfortably and luxuriously miserable!!!
We come empty handed and we shall leave likewise; we should not let money give us a feeling of intoxication. This state of exuberance can become the cause of our troubles and would not give us any salvation.
When we die, if we haven’t pledged our wealth for good cause or charity when we were alive, we leave intact all our monetary riches for others to desire and fight over.
The things we carry with us after we drop our body are our karma-s (actions) and our spiritual practices.
So we need to accumulate more and more of these which we will eventually carry after dropping the body.
What stays behind is only the fragrance of the good use of the honest wealth we acquire.