“Money it's a crime. Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie. Money so they say. Is the root of all evil today.” - Pink Floyd
Due to recent circumstances, I’ve been thinking about money more than usual lately. I’m convinced that the way in which we view money and how we save or spend it says more about one’s philosophy on life, regardless of whether one has articulated or thought it through for themselves or not, than just about any other external factor one can name.
Do we spend our money on providing every creature comfort possible? Should our purpose in this world be to enjoy as much lobster thermadore, Dom Perignon, and watch as much ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ on our 72” plasma screen tv’s as we can at our vacation home in the Catskills? Do we scrimp and save so that we can pay for our children’s college education…and by making it so that our children will not have to pay for that expense, are we actually doing them a favor (along similar lines, if you always pick up your children’s bedrooms for them are you really doing them a favor?)
Very wealthy people view money quite differently than middle or lower class folks. Beyond a certain point, access to more money provides increasingly marginal returns; one only has so much time to live in this world and acquiring/using more yachts, vacations to Paris, and Rolls Royces doesn’t much improve the quality of one’s life experience (there’s a great line from Scarface “is this all there is?...eating…drinking…F’ing, sucking?”). Once this level is attained, we frequently see these folks using their money to influence the world around them. The only differences on this plane being the scale on which this influence occurs. It’s easy to heap more condemnation or alternately praise on folks occupying this station in life than they probably deserve, but the question most fail to ask is what would YOU do with those resources – would you really do differently?
What is money and what does it measure? Why do we want more money than we currently have? What is it we desire in life that money provides? I guess I’m prodding folks to go a step further than usual and examine the whole WHY angle that seldom gets discussed…e.g. okay, so you want to pay off your credit cards, retire in comfort at age 50, party hearty, live a life of philanthropy, or be a patron of the Arts, or whatever. Why is that?