A really nice woman wrote to me yesterday saying that my website had been a lucky find for her when she was searching for inspiration. Always nice to hear, but my correspondent went on to assert that money is the root of all evil. Let’s knock this one on the head today, once and for all, shall we?
Money is not the root of all evil. “The love of money is the root of all evil” or so it says in the bible in Timothy chapter 10 verse 6. Even then I am not absolutely sure what the bible’s message is in this regard because the second half of the verse is about straying from the faith and so on. But I think we get the gist. Money isn’t anything except an energy and a means of exchange, an easy-ish way of paying for goods and services compared to say swapping it for a mule.
Some of what we attribute to money may be evil and, in this example, my correspondent says that money equals greed and capitalism. It can be hard to watch what others do with money without assumption and judgement and without wrinkling your nose in distaste especially if you ever accidentally stray into the right-hand column on the Daily Mail’s website which is all about excess and celebrity and where you could attribute some of that to having too much money. You might. I couldn’t possibly say.
I know that however rich I become, I am still me. And that with or without money my intentions are always to be a force for good in the world. It is possible that with more money I could be an even greater force for good. One of my mentors describes it as “with more we can DO more” and he means more good for other beyond our inner circle.
But just like being elected an MP, if I won the lottery and all my investments paid out in 2013, I wouldn’t wake up overnight instantly imbued with all the innate wisdom of how to be the best newbie philanthropist in the world. That too would be a learning curve just like everything else has been in my life and, God willing, will continue to be for decades to come. I think now that learning is possibly my very favourite thing and some of my former school teachers would be absolutely gobsmacked to read that. I tell you, wasted on the young.
It is interesting to me that so many misquote the bible in this regard when religion could equally be said to be behind as much evil as money. Or we could blame politics or television or the internet or oil or sex or cheesecake. These are just barmy ideas we have been indoctrinated with at some point in our lives, usually our childhood, and all we have to do is open our eyes and hearts and minds today, as an adult, and make some new and better choices about money.
These better choices can lead to new beliefs which will support our financial journey and might even lead us to a place above survival, a place some of us might have chosen to inhabit precisely because it might afford us some protection from becoming “evil”. After all, if that’s what you believe, then you’ve effectively put a block between you and your own success and fulfillment, not that either need involve money per se but money is often a by-product of one or t’other or both.
And from our new place of choice and belief and surplus we can set out to do some real good in the world for those we know and love and/or those we don’t yet know and love but who could use some of our new found dosh, especially if we wake up one morning and realise its made us evil and we want to give it all away.
Unlikely, but I don’t rule it out and there is precedent.