I don't think you can come into your wisdom until you have made mistakes on your own skin and felt them in reality of your own life.
Nothing in the last few years has dazzled me more than Hilary Mantel's 'Wolf Hall,' which blew the top of my head straight off. I've read it three times, and I'm still trying to figure out how she put that magnificent thing together.
Listen - of course money changes everything, but so does sunlight, and so does food: These are powerful but neutral energy sources, neither inherently good nor evil but shaped only by the way we use them.
Now, if you are like me - if you are like practically anybody in America - then you probably hold some negative opinions about the French, based upon movies, rumors, recent headlines, unfortunate run-ins with Parisian waiters, or... you know... all that unpleasantness surrounding the Vichy regime.