Equanimity, Thoughts

For the love of money.

I have been busy closing out chapters in my life and opening up new ones. But one thing that has been on my mind and a pretty strong presence in my recent observations is people and money.

I wanted to write about the love of money. A song that keeps popping in my head is For the Love of Money by the O’Jays. If you haven’t heard it, find it and listen to it because it’s a heavy piece of musical poetry.

I loathe money. Not enough to not use it because me and my family have needs but enough to always be grateful that I don’t have a ton of it. Too little and too much of money can cause too many problems and a disruption of happiness. I can go through my news feed on Facebook and I am guaranteed to see someone talking about “getting’ that paper,” referring to making money. The purpose of money is to purchase things we need and want. The problem is, there are so many people out there not satisfied with what they can buy with the money they have—they always want MORE!!! They see the latest and greatest and have this need to keep up with the Joneses. People begin to love money because of what money can get them—popularity, higher quality or attention grabbing clothes, shoes, cars, etc,. Gone are the days where people had to work hard in order to get the items they needed. Now a days, people want to do little to nothing but get paid above and beyond. It’s an issue from the top down.  Our government and business industries teaches us that we need money by our tax structure, cost of living, healthcare costs, and minimum wage and in doing this, makes some people crave money.

Money is like a drug. It is the most legally addicting thing out there. There are people who will steal from anywhere just to have more of it… tax evasion, bank robberies, credit card theft, street robberies… all products of a love of money. In these cases, a person needs money for something they can not afford. Some people feel helpless when they don’t understand why others have more than they do. They especially feel helpless if there is a need that can not be met because of the lack of money… which can ultimately lead to lashing out to get the money by any means necessary.

I will tell a story. I have been fortunate to never be in a situation where I lack my basic needs so I can not speak for everyone’s situation. I have been laid off and know the feeling of not having an income for a period of time. It was a very difficult situation to be in because with a job, I knew that a certain amount, usually the same every time, would be deposited in my account. I could budget and plan my needs and possibly some wants. I am human so yes there are wants that I have but can not afford but I either save for those things or just accept the fact that I won’t have it. A key point I feel is knowing when you can and can not have things that you want. It’s important to take care of your needs and equally important to be comfortable with the fact that you may never get the things that you want.

Anyway, I found out I was getting laid off and started to prepare. I started couponing and stocking up on paper products , soap and shampoos. I was pregnant at the time so I had to also prepare for a new baby coming into this situation. Once laid off, I had a very bipolar mindset. One moment, I would feel confident that things would work out and then the next moment, I was feeling overwhelmed that we would lose the house. This is normal for me because I worry even if there isn’t any to worry about. No matter the worry, I was still living life as normal as possible. My family and I went out for dinner and went on vacation. I actually think it was the most we’ve ever gone out. We were happy despite our situation. This lasted for four months and once I was back on a job, I started to build myself up again.

The moral of my story is don’t let money change you. Stress is a natural part of adulthood but lacking or an abundance of money should not alter the person within. No one should become a thief, murderer, liar, etc., because they need more money. Suffering is also part of life. How else would we know happiness and peace without stress and suffering? There is never a good time to love money because in the love of money, you can lose sight of what’s most important. I embraced my suffering when I was laid off and because of that, I was able to spend invaluable time with my newborn that I would not have gotten if I was working. We don’t need to have it all because having it all does not make a person happy.

Think about what you give up when you are trying to gain more…

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