Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Friday, July 30, 2010

Money - What is Your Relation to It?

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live in a society that did not use money as a means for livelihood?  There are countries in the world where reciprocal arrangements are made to care for the needs of those within a community.  Knowledge of how money works is not a concept that they are familiar with.

In Lynn Twists book, The Soul of Money, she describes a situation where a member of such community moved into our realm and had to learn from scratch how to survive.  In her words,  He began to see how it is in America:  that virtually everything in our lives and every choice we make-the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the houses we live in, the schools we attend, the work we do, the futures we dream, whether we marry or not, or have children or not, even matters of love-everything is influenced by this thing called money.

As foreign as a concept of money is to such a community, it is also a topic that many of us do not question or think twice about . . . money is just money and remains a way of life.  Gaining better insight to the purpose of money and the value we place on it is something we should endeavor to understand.  Lynn says:  We all have an identifiable through largely unconscious and unexamined, relationship with money that shapes our experience of life and our deepest feelings about ourselves and others.  She goes on to say Money has become a playing field where we measure our competence and worth as people. 

Lynn’s books provides great insights on how our society has come to not question the relevance of money and how it drives our lives, our decision, and our self-esteem.  If you would like to question your own ideas of money, I think you will find this book very insightful.  We challenge assumptions about every other facet of life:  race, religion, politics, education, sex, family, and society.  But when it comes to money, we accept it not only as a measure of economic value, but also as a way of assigning importance and worth to everyone and everything else in the world.  

Often times we use the term success to mean wealth, maybe success is a concept that we should also evaluate?   

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