I think it’s pretty endearing that most Sicilian sayings have an innate distrust of the wealthy. Quite literally, money becomes the root of all evil.
In the once agricultural-based society of Sicily, money was less important; the focus was on work, family, friends, community and savouring the moment.
Anyone with money was usually from the wealthy aristocracy, usually in the form of the local landowner, who was always someone who took advantage of local workers and was very much an outsider to be suspicious and wary.
Hence this week’s saying about the three things you need to become rich. One, no money (poverty is a great motivator), two, a whole lot of will/ability or desire to work or bright ideas what to do and no conscience whatsoever.
Obviously, for the Sicilians, there is some element of having to make a pact with the devil or selling your soul to become a wealthy person.
To some extent, the ultra-rich are out of touch with the rest of humanity; think of the Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates of the world. There is always some logic behind this detto Siciliano because to get, grow and keep the money, there is an element of cunning required.
In this current ultra entrepreneur, influencer and self-help culture age, everyone is searching for the secret sauce on creating wealth quickly.
So it’s wise to remember not to lose yourself or your own peace of mind in the pursuit of money.