A wealthy bey on the Golodnaya Steppe. Photograph taken in 1911
The rich? They want for nothing. Be it only for a day, they have wealth and they think they possess the treasures of well-nigh half the world, and they can pay in livestock for whatever they lack. They set their sights high and their ambitions even higher. Honor, conscience and sincerity are no dearer to them than their herds. They are certain that if they own livestock they will be able to bribe even the Most High. Their herds take the place of everything else to them — their native land, people, religion, family and learning. Why then should they listen to other people's advice? Some fellow might be inclined to lend an ear, but he has no time for that. He must feed and water his livestock, sell it at a premium, protect it from thieves and wolves, shelter it from the cold, and find someone to do these chores. No, this man is too busy to heed good counsel. When he has seen to all this, he will be boasting and bragging, so he has no time left for anything else.
As for thieves and scoundrels, they obviously would not listen anyway. The poor, meek as sheep, are only concerned about getting their daily bread. What good is advice, wisdom and learning to them when even the rich do not want it? "Leave us alone, speak to those who are cleverer than we are", they say, as though knowledge were of no use to poor folk. They don't care about anybody, the poor. If they had what other people have, they would know no worries.