The contemporary philosophy that maintains that first you must take care of yourself and then everything else will follow is sadly mistaken. When happiness is focused only on yourself, you find that you are no closer to having achieved it at the end of the quest than at the beginning.
Many people equate happiness with material well-being. Even more, wealth is taken as something good in and of itself. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wealth. The problem is that wealth is frequently stripped of its social and, therefore, ethical context, so that it takes on a life of its own. Rather than being the means toward a happy life, the pursuit of wealth and its accumulation become the goal itself.
When wealth becomes the ultimate goal, it doesn’t matter what you do to get it, and what you do with it becomes your own concern and no one else’s. If you need to work all day every day, if you cheat or lie to have things break your way, if you betray a trust in order to get ahead, if your new house is built over a fragile aquifer, well, that’s the price to be paid for success. That families suffer, friends are neglected, communities wither, and the natural world diminished is of secondary importance.