I have both liberal and conservative friends, and they have completely opposite views as to whether what Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty said about gays was right or wrong. That issue can be debated for hours, and I’m sure that it will continuously be debated with vigor over the next few weeks. What I haven’t seen mention is that from a teaching what’s important about money prospective, what the Duck Dynasty clan did was the correct move even if you don’t agree with what Phil Robertson said.
Duck Dynasty is a financial juggernaut that basically prints money. It’s estimated that the family earns about $200,000 per episode, and huge amounts more on product licensing from the show. When the A&E network suspended Phil Robertson for the comments he made in GQ magazine, their intention wasn’t to stop the show or the money flowing, it was to keep the show running without one of the cast members for a period of time. By taking the stand that they were not willing to work without their patriarch, the family told the world that one if its members was more important to them than the money from the show.
Think about it. By foregoing the show, the Duck Dynasty clan is turning its back on over a million dollars. Yes, they are already wealthy and they’ll do fine without it, but that’s still a lot of money to say “no thank you” to in order to make a point. My guess is that after A&E made the suspension announcement, the family got together and there was a long and heated discussion on what course of action they should take. On one side was the financial perspective that the show earned them a lot of money and it would be stupid to give it up, while on the other side was their convictions and loyalty to family. In the end, they chose their convictions and family over money.
Isn’t that the lesson that we try to teach our children about money? We want them to know that in order to make money, they shouldn’t be willing to compromise their core beliefs. We try to teach them that money isn’t everything and when given a choice, they should stand by their principles over selling out for the money. Again, whether or not you agree with what Phil Robertson said, the Duck Dynasty clan made the correct choice to stand on the principle of their beliefs over earning more money.
While the debate over the words will continue to rage on, it’s too bad that this money lesson will likely be lost over the shouts of who’s right and who’s wrong. With all the greed on Wall Street and society seemingly moving toward an acceptance that it’s OK to do almost anything in the pursuit of another buck, it’s nice to see a family choosing to stand by their family member over the temptation of more money. Wouldn’t it be great if that was a lesson which could internalize and taken away by everyone no matter what side of the debate they happen to be on?