Our Complex Relationship with Money: A Necessary Resource or Our Reason for Being?
Money is something that everyone has to deal with, whether we like it or not. From paying bills and buying food to pursuing our dreams and enjoying the luxuries of life, money plays a significant role in our daily lives. But what does money mean to us individually? Is it just a resource that allows us to do stuff or has it become our identity and reason for being? In this article, we will explore various perspectives on money and its influence on our lives.
Part of the Human Experience
Money is an inevitable part of the human experience, and it comes with its fair share of pros and cons. While it can provide us with freedom, choices, and happiness, it can also lead to stress, anxiety, arguments, and sleepless nights. Unfortunately, for many of us, we have handed over too much power to money, making it the center of our lives. However, on a basic level, money is simply a resource that we need to manage and negotiate virtually every day of our lives.
Different Things to Different People
Money means different things to different people. For some, it is a practical resource that they need to use to fulfill their basic needs like paying bills, educating their children, and fixing things around the house. For others, money is more than just a resource; it’s their life-force. They are captivated by it, obsessed with it, and enslaved by it, often at great personal expense. Sadly, many make money their god, worshiping it, and using it to define their sense of worth, self-esteem, and confidence. They feel powerless and insecure without it, losing their identity and ultimately their sense of purpose.
Some people attach their identity to their money, believing that their worth is directly proportional to their bank balance. They believe the lie that the more money they have, the happier and more fulfilled they will be. However, this is not necessarily true. As we have seen throughout history, many wealthy people are miserable, anxious, and lonely, despite their success. Similarly, many people who live simple lifestyles and don’t have much money are content, joyful, and fulfilled.
Wealth Without the Money
Wealth doesn’t always mean having significant assets or material possessions. It’s a matter of perception, definition, and individuality. Some of the wealthiest people in the world don’t have much money or material wealth. Conversely, some of the poorest people may be millionaires in terms of contentment, happiness, and inner peace. We should be mindful not to attach our happiness or identity to material possessions or wealth and understand that true wealth involves having peace of mind, good health, and meaningful relationships.
On the opposite end of the scale, some people reject the notion of money, believing that it is evil and the root of all problems. The truth is that money is neither good nor evil; it’s just a bunch of paper assigned a value by society. It only becomes problematic and destructive when money represents values that it shouldn’t, such as greed or selfishness. Rejecting money altogether can be a problematic, unrealistic, and disempowering paradigm.
What Do I Think?
From a personal perspective, I don’t believe that making money or being wealthy is a bad thing. Success in business is admirable, as long as it doesn’t come at the cost of values, health, relationships, integrity, and life balance. Money should be recognized and used as a resource without bowing down to it. Financial goals are essential, but they should not be the sole focus of our lives. Pursuing our passions, having fun, and impacting others positively should be our ultimate goal, with financial success being a by-product of that pursuit.
In conclusion, money is a necessary resource that we all need to manage and negotiate in our daily lives. However, it can become a destructive force in our lives when we attach our identity or happiness to it. We should understand that wealth doesn’t always mean having material possessions or significant assets. True wealth involves inner peace, joy, and contentment. While money can provide us with the means to pursue our passions, we should not allow it to become our reason for being.