My friend Kate never fails to come up with a thought provoking topic. Earlier in the week she asked,"What are your thoughts and how do you feel about money?"
Money IS NOT the root of all evil. It is the LOVE of money that is at the root of the ills in modern society. It would be totally pointless Joe Soap in Harare having £20000 if today it won’t buy a loaf of bread or tomorrow a crust! Money is seen as a way to get status – to get power. Power over your neighbour, with a bigger car, newer disposal unit ect. We have seen in the USA and Zimbabwe how money gives you political power. Desire for money and status is only bad when people do bad things in order to obtain what they desire.
Money, and the need to aquire more of it, is equated to ‘poorness’ and ‘richness.’ Yet another fallacy. In 1992 I was paid 10 times what my father earned in 1962. Does that make him poor and me rich? He could afford to give his family an annual holiday – a luxery not many of the families in our street could emulate – did that make us rich and them poor? I can ‘pay my way’ as my parents would have said. I do not dislike money – only the people who exploit the lives of other’s with the power that financial monopoly gives them.
People do not ‘struggle’ with money. Living in a working class area of Manchester in 1907, the wives would manage the husbands wages with the skill of conjuror. The pawnshop was not a place of ridicule but a ‘poormans’ bank. The emphasis you note is not the lack of oodles of money but on the management of what they had. Todays students complain bitterly about ‘the debt’ of, [The privelege] of attending university. A part time job would negate some of the debt. However look at this debt. £20,000 ? They will leave the ivory tower and will work for say 30 years. They will only have to repay £13 per week over that period! Whats that ? – 2 packets of cigarettes or 4 pints of lager or a posh blouse from Asda/Walmart! A lottery winner many years ago won the equivalant of £1M. Her ‘struggle’ was to get rid of it as soon as possible – Spend! Spend! Spend! was her simple minded answer to her ‘richness.’ Please do not think that I have never been financially embarrassed. For several years the management of my scant resources meant not socialising for months on end. Adding water and half an onion or carrot each day to sunday’s stew! By friday it was healthier to dissolve an oxo cube in a mug of hot water!
The one lesson I learnt from my upbringing and education was that saving is a virtue not a crime. Money is good. Money is a tool to use in every day life. Do not blame the implement – blame those who misuse it. Look after the pennies and the Pounds, Dollars, Yuans or Rands will look after themselves! As you sow, so shall you reap.