People are always talking about how money doesn’t make a man… doesn’t create happiness… it can’t buy you love, right?
They say, money doesn’t create friendships, develop inner peace or help you much with the struggles that tumble around deep within.
In fact, it creates lots of heartache; it’s hurting the world in countless ways as consumers crave more and more and more and more and more and more to almost epic proportions. Our planet is smoldering under our materialistic pursuits and if you take a walk in New York City on any morning, you’ll quickly wonder where on earth all the garbage is going to go…..
I’ve found, for me, money really does matter.
I know, I know—I’m contrary to every book today, every self-help dude, all the spiritual teachers. We’re all supposed to live simpler, consume less and stop worshiping the might dollar. They tell us it’s the root of all evil, wall street is bad, capitalism is the death of the great society, slowly erasing us from the inside out.
I get it; I just think it’s mostly bullshit.
Trust me, those guys saying all that crap—they want you to buy their books… They didn’t offer you a copy in exchange for some lettuce and tomatoes you grew in your garden.
The guy hosting the simplicity workshop needs you to buy a ticket. Somehow you need to travel to it—by car, plane, whatever. Right?
You go to the temple, the church or even the neighborhood 12 step meeting — what do they do? Pass the basket. They don’t want your vegetables either I’m afraid.
I don’t know about you but when I’m in those places, I want the air conditioning to work, I’m fond of lighting and a bathroom and I’m very conscious that it takes me exchanging some money to make that happen.
Money is a measurement of lots of things, and I for one enjoy it. When I earn money, it means I interacted with countless people, I shared joy and wisdom and helped them complete something, move something, create something. It means I exchanged my talents—offered them in a way that those in need could obtain.
It’s actually money that’s allowing you to read this right now. I’m not sitting in some monastery right now… I’m writing this while on an airplane, on a MacBook, linked up somehow to my iPhone, while playing iTunes in the background. That’s a few thousand bucks right there.
I actually love the exchange of money for services—I like the validation that you’ve done something cool and I reward you for it by buying it.
I love that you paint a beautiful painting, I love it, buy it and you get validated that you are worthy… plus you might get to feed your family tonight… I really think that’s cool.
That’s what I call an equal energy exchange.
And you know what? I think money does even more. In my times of great struggle, I used money to get help—physical help, mental help, spiritual help… I’ve used money to take a break and go for a long hiking weekend in the woods so I could find my answers in the silence and the earth… I’ve used money to pay for therapy and to transport me to wild, alive fun.
I use it to buy stuff— no doubt. But I also use it to better things, to help folks, to lift people up. I see people use it for amazing good—to cure Aids, to dig wells, to build houses, to clean up disaster, to create a wish, to make stuff happen—to lend a hand and participate in humanities greatest struggles.
Could I not have it? Of course.
But would the world be better off? Would I? I’m not so sure.
I know money does create an enormous struggle… it creates this endless cycle of want and it certainly does cloud what true need actually is…..However…..
I propose that it’s our relationship to it, not the money itself that’s the problem.
I’m using money to create ease in my life and others, to help validate and create success in others, to make the world a little better, to create and support beauty, to get me from here to there…
…..to facilitate my experience in this life.
I don’t take it all too seriously— I’ve been broke and just as happy as not broke. My happiness isn’t tied to a number and I’d rather help you than have enough for myself…. But I get that having it makes things work.
Maybe, simply, Happy with, Happy without.