Monday, November 15, 2010

Money, Money, Money


"To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it." -G.K. Chesterton

My mind was turned to the idea of money this past week as I was reading a magazine. The editor was discussing three ideas that surround the green stuff itself.
1.) Money costs time
2.) That experiences are more important than money
3.) Giving money away makes you happier.

Naturally, this sparked some thoughts in my own mind that I thought I would share. I am, by no means, rich. This isn't because my husband and I don't work hard. As I elaborated in a previous post: my husband is one of the hardest workers I know. I have come to the conclusion, quite a long time ago, that I will never be "rich" in the world's eyes. I will never spend thousands and thousands of dollars on surgery to preserve my twenty-something self. I will never own a multi-million dollar home. Most likely I will have to forgo those luxurious expenses that the green stuff can buy.And the list could go on. Amazingly, I'm doing just fine with the previous revelations.

I was thinking that the editor of this magazine made some good points. Money does cost time. It requires that you spend more hours away from home. More hours away from friends and family. More hours at the office or pursuing education or running after the promotion. The more money one wants to make: the more time you better be willing to put in. And with our culture's obsession with having stuff and more stuff and new stuff and better stuff than the neighbors down the road....well, that is a lot of time. Is it worth it? Obviously, we all have to put in some time into our jobs to provide for our families. Basic needs here. But are we seeking excess at the expense of relationships?

When I look back on my life (what I have lived so far) I can easily see that the experiences I've had mean so much more to me than the checks I've cashed. Simple things: watching a movie with my hubby, playing music on a Sunday morning, camping up north ect. Mind you, some experiences cost money, but there are simple pleasures in life that are sometimes lost in the pursuit of having more things.

Lastly, I know that any time I have given money away there is a sense of fulfillment in that. Maybe one reason why I love Christmas so much is because we are challenged to give. To think about someone else. To get past our needs and wants. To sacrifice self. In this economy, there are so many people that are still in need. That are still working hard and not making ends meet. This holiday season is the perfect opportunity to think about using our resources for something good.

While I may never fall under the category of "financially successful": I am blessed. I have more than I could ever want or need. I refuse to live my life in the pursuit of money: how I can make a lot of it quick and fast. The love of money replaces some of the simplest joys in life: faith, experience, giving, and family. It robs us of joy when we feel like we don't "have enough". It sets itself up in our lives as a false security. It pretends to give us value. I wonder, if at the end of the day, we are giving a piece of paper more power than it deserves in our lives?

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