Romantic comedy Revolutionary Love has continued to capture viewers' attention and winning fans. As you probably know by now, the story is focused on Byun Hyuk (Choi Siwon), an immature and naive rich heir who finally learns the facts of life when he is forced to work just like the rest of us. One thing that has intrigued me for awhile is the frequent reminder that Byun Hyuk is a 3rd-generation heir. Why not 2nd gen? Why does the reference of "3rd-gen heir" get so much hype?

Actually, having grown up in Taiwan, I'm familiar with the famous Chinese proverb: "Wealth does not continue beyond three generations"  (富不過三代).

Its meaning is quite simple and direct: The first generation tends to be the pioneering entrepreneurs or founders who create the wealth. The next generation typically work alongside their parents and should at least not squander the family wealth even if they don't grow it. However, with the third generation, despite growing up with all the advantages in life, the wealth is often easily lost because the new generation tends to be spenders, not keepers, of the inherited fortune.

It doesn't always have to be exactly three generations, but it's close. Many of the Chinese dynasties lasted hundreds of years, but look closely and you'll find that the greatest era of a dynasty was established by the first few emperors. The remaining royals continued to live on their inheritance but eventually waned. (The Qin empire that was founded by King Ying Zheng from The King's Woman is a prime example as it lasted less than 15 years and ended with the third emperor.)

As it turns out, there are similar sayings in the West, such as "From clogs to clogs in only three generations," a 19-century English proverb, about the path of poverty to wealth not being sustained.

The universal old wisdom has been confirmed by scientific studies.

A 2015 study by the Williams Group wealth consultancy reveals that 70% of wealthy families lose their wealth by the second generation, and a stunning 90% by the third. The WealthCounsel, a US-based collaborative organisation for attorneys and wealth planning, also shows in their study that 65% of family fortune is lost by the second generation and 90% is gone by the third.

Of course we're not the only ones who know about this cautionary wisdom. The really rich people are well aware of the significance of choosing a capable heir to carry on their business and family fortune. Even a corporation needs a good succession plan in case of a sudden change among the top leadership. 

Is there any wonder why Byun Hyuk's father is angry with his son? However, we in no way condone the physical abuse that he inflicted as punishment, and he himself is one of the factors that contributed to the making of a pampered, spoiled heir.

Although Byun Hyuk started out as quite a foolish and clueless prince, he has been learning fast now that he is experiencing the facts of life. With role models like the independent-spirited Baek Joon (Kang So Ra) and good-natured friends around him, the adorable Hyuk with a heart of gold is gaining wisdom and even taking action. 


Revolutionary Love

Starring Choi Si Won and Kang So Ra

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Will Byun Hyuk defy the curse of the 3rd-gen proverb and rise up? 

What do you think about how wealth doesn't last over three generations?

~ Find me at NancyZdramaland for more updates!

Sources: 123

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