As far as I’m concerned, there is way too much sensitivity in such a simple matter as money. Google it – you’ll find all sorts of people promising you all sorts of everything: from psycho practices aimed at miraculously attracting money into your life to all sorts ‘get rich doing nothing’ dodgy schemes.
There are plenty of beliefs that make money sound like a source of all evil or, admittedly rarer, a salvation for any cause.
To be honest, I think both approaches are unnecessarily extreme. The only true resources we have in life is our time, our health, our mind and our spirit. If you think about it, we can’t really save them in the bank. So we have options: we can waste them, spend them, invest them, give them away, or do all of throughout life without ever gaining consciousness. Money is only, well, an exchange medium. Sometimes you need them for an exchange, sometimes you don’t. We invest our time, soul and mind with our children and we gain pleasure, growth, emotional satisfaction, intellectual growth from it everyday. We don’t really need a medium for this. But the shop owner may not be as excited to exchange a loaf of bread and a carton of milk for your empathy or the time you spend in the shop. So you need a medium.
Now, why do we fall into the love-hate relationship with the exchange medium? Why do we even have relationship with it to begin with? Read through those sentences:
Money is a root of all evil
Happiness is not about money
Either rich or healthy(happy)
Do you feel emotional response to them? Can you say or think ‘money’ without loading it with attributes like greediness, selfishness, soullessness?
The reason for it, I think, is a projection.
We project our emotion towards the exchanges we see happening, which we may deem unfair, unequal, pointless. We project emotion we have towards others’ priorities, lifestyle, beliefs.
But we’re one and only master of our lives, and it’s up to us how we exchange our time and our life, whether we do it smartly, fairly, beneficially, or not. We may hate a tasteless displays of wealth, but it’s the strange values we do not accept. We may think obsessing about money is a waste, but it’s really about how this money are used we can’t tolerate. We can exclude money altogether, and we’ll feel the same type of rejection towards a life wasted on drugs. It’s the way people handle their lives that causes our emotion, yet we project it on the exchange medium. When a young child who never even handled money refuses to share a cake with his friends, we don’t tend to think the root is the cake, we recognise it’s about certain values and human qualities we hold dear.
Same with money. The fact that certain people are unable to use this medium in a way we consider dignified, the fact that certain people think the medium is the ultimate goal does not mean we have to.
An exchange medium can be used for good and bad, and we can use it to buy our lives, our time, to help people, to invest in education and whatever else makes you feel good – in itself it’s neutral. It’s our disappointment with our abilities to handle life exchanges, with our skills to exchange our resource for the results we want, that causes anger and all sorts of emotion.
Business is a system to gain profit. It’s one of the ways we can exchange our time and our talents for money, to then have an exchange of money for our lifestyle and our goals. There are other ways, we can get a job, or sell our own produce, or invest in helping other people in a hope they would help us. Bottom line is: it’s our choice. Handling life exchanges is a skill, handling it well is an art. It’s learnable. Living a life you dream about requires this skill. Being emotionally stuck in rejection, guilt or shame about an exchange medium is not going to help to master this skill. Two young kids exchanging a toy car for a yo-yo are learning it, and suddenly you see someone stealing yo-yos, someone obsessing over accumulating yo-yos.
The root of it is greed, not yo-yos.
The root of greed is lack of love, not yo-yos.