The Mathew Effect

For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.


This phenomenon is usually referred to as the “Mathew effect” and is taken from the parable of the talents in the bible.

The parable of the talents, tells of a master who was leaving his house to travel, and, before leaving, entrusted his property to his servants. According to the abilities of each man, one servant received five talents, the second had received two, and the third received only one. Upon returning home, after a long absence, the master asks his three servants for an account of the talents he entrusted to them. The first and the second servants explain that they each put their talents to work, and have doubled the value of the property with which they were entrusted; each servant was rewarded. The third servant, however, had merely hidden his talent, burying it in the ground, and was punished by his master.

This phenomenon has been observed in nature and human societies. It also explains the income inequality we see around. It is similar to the compounding effect which shows how small changes result in big outcomes. It’s also similar to the law of use which states that we lose that which we don’t use. Success attracts more success and failure attracts more failure. This is simply a natural law of life.


Try and find small advantages daily in your life. Win at something small everyday. These small wins add up to a lifetime of success. Interact with people who build you. Exhibit a character which attracts the best towards you. Find ways to use your God given gifts everyday. Practice your skills daily and become an expert in your trade. Save and prudently invest your money. Be weary of failing everyday because it will only get worse.

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