Yes, money has certainly a bad press over the millenia... and norma crazy people's obsession with it doesn't seem to be abating - "financial freedom" or "financial security" are phrases that I frequently hear... but why not let's look at money from a different perspective?
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It is fascinating to explore the history of money - originally a means of mediating trade in a world becoming complicated to the point that barter didn't fit the bill any longer... and that was millenia ago. And the really bizarre thing about money in this 21st century of ours is that 90% of it doesn't exist... it's only flickering digits on computer screens. But boy have we tied ourselves in knots obsessing about it. Yes, we need a means of mediating our dealings in our everyday life but what we don't need is to see it either as a route to happiness or a barrier to having the life we want.
Let me deal with the "happiness" one first. Clearly, none of us is silly enough to think that money will buy us happiness - or is that true? If people tell me that they'll only be happy when they have financial security, then they are making their happiness money-dependent. And that's a slippery slope because the only place that financial security exists is in the mind.
The flipside of the happiness thing is that money is a barrier to my happiness. This comes in a variety of guises: "I can only have the life I want if I win a large amount of money" or "I can't simpy go off and do what I want, what about money?" Again, we're saying that our happiness is money dependent. Finally, of course, there are those who are so obsessed with money that enough will never be enough.
The key question for you is - mindful of what I'm saying in today's video - where does money sit in your consdiration of what you really want out of life? Your life is now and the clock is ticking - someday you'll run out of ticks and, when that day comes, even if you had all the money in the world, you won't be able to take it with you.
I need to contextualize today's story... for it is set in an Ireland long-gone - the Ireland of the early 1980s when so many things were different. It concerns my friend, Stephen (no way is this his real name, really!)
One Monday evening, his wife asked him to deputise for her... she went door to door doing the weekly "Church Collection".
About half-way through "his round", one lady answered the door with the statement "Ah, good evening... you're here for the Dues"... to which Stephen replied: "No, I'm not here for the Jews, I'm here for the Roman Catholics"!
Talk about making a fool of yourself!