Saturday, January 8, 2011

Money

Man, what is the deal with money. Is there anything so powerful in our daily lives? Every decision that I make comes back to money. It haunts our world like an ever-present God, lurking around corners, stalking our thoughts, our dreams, our goals, and our self-perception. But instead of being some sort of benevolent God, looking out for us, taking care of us, loving us, all it does is draw from us. It draws our energies, our thoughts, our priorities. It depends on us fully for its power. We all have an equal part in its creation and an equal part in its power. We could just make it go away at any time.

You cannot master money; since it draws its power from you, it will always be the master. The more you struggle to get it, the more power it has. The more you struggle to stay afloat financially, the more power money has over you. But it cannot be ignored if you're going to live any kind of a normal life.

Money sets our priorities. What you do with your time--you only have so much of it--is decided by money. Where you live is probably decided by money--if not the city and state, at least the house or apartment. Nothing in this world commands such attention.

And my god, it's just imaginary. It's a shared, imagined fantasy. Could there have been another way? Could our ancestors have decided more wisely what role currency would play in our lives?

I struggle with these thoughts from time to time. I hate being a slave to money, myself. I hate having my self-worth damaged when bills are late. I hate having to check our account before every single purchase. And while I like my job very much, is it really worth stepping away from my home, my wife, my kids every day just to be paid to do it?

I'm not looking for social anarchy. I'm not looking for a tearing down of the system. I'm not looking to turn my reasonably affluent family into a bunch of beggars. I just think that we could all stand to be more mindful about money. It's a fluid issue--the door on money is not shut--as it continues to thrive on shared belief alone. How much does it matter? What does it mean?

I think at the very least, as a parent we can ask ourselves what kind of role we want money to play in our decision making. I think that we ought not to blindly obey money. We ought not to always let it come first. There are limitations, of course, as a family must be fed, but perhaps we should look more closely at it, not take it at face value, and consider our options.

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

Very true. I am astounded by the hold that money has on all of the people in political positions....people who are supposed to make wise decisions for America each and every day, but would rather vote yay or nay based on which answer is filling their pocket the most.