Monday, December 15, 2003

Money, Money, Money

How many times did you dream of money falling on you out of nowhere? And how many times did you think and think and think of what you’d actually do if you really won 100.000$ or even 1.000.000 $?
Each one of us thought of this even at early stages of life. For materialistic anxiety grows with us from the minute we begin to realize possessiveness. So a one year old kid would start out being happy for having new things, and will get angry if another kid tried to lay hands on his own stuff.
And day by day the meaning of possession as “keeping” transforms into “getting”, and from “getting” into “getting more and more”. I don’t see this as the destructive kind of materialism, in fact I find it abnormal for someone not to love having more. I didn’t mean abnormal in the negative sense, but I just find it rather unusual.
Yet possession becomes really dangerous when it becomes an obsession; i.e. collecting whatever you find nice reaching a point where it’s never enough to get you satisfied. And unfortunately a lot of us do this. I know girls who buy 4 pieces of the same damn shirt, with the same damn design, and from the same damn store, not because they felt cozy in it or found it practical, and not because they found the price reasonable, no they bought them just because they want to have them even if they cost a lot.
Or when I visit someone and find the same vase with the same design, same color, and same shape in every corner of the sitting room, why? Because it looks good.
Or a friend having a new mobile to add to his “mobile collection”, which is by the way still new. Why? Simply because he thinks it’s cool.
Anyway, and regardless of what others do, I’m one of the people who’d love to wake up one morning and find a card in my letterbox congratulating me for winning a huge amount of money in one of the competitions I participated in for example.
I’d love it to open my eyes to find a bag full of money next to me. And who hates easy money, although I believe that “easy come, easy go” because one wont appreciate them as much as earned money is appreciated. Money that you paid effort, time and nerves to get. Money for which you sacrificed a lot of things to get.
I always think of making more money, not because I’m greedy, but because I know I wont win a big amount of money. It’s not that I’m not a Lucky Eman, but it’s simply that I never buy lottery tickets, and because all what I participate in are some simple budget-limited competitions in which you either win 100$, books, or anything you cant “spend”.
So I always think of ways to make more money, on one hand to get the necessary things I need and on the other hand because I know there are millions of people out there who need money but can’t have it on their own, either because of war, or illness, or lack of qualifications, or anything else.
I want more money because I know that in our time you have to pay a lot just to get the simplest things you wish to have. I want to help people, I want to stop pollution, I want to do something good.
God! When I think of it, I realize that I have a lot of great ideas to help the needy and all what’s missing is money… hmm, on second thoughts, I guess all what’s missing is a FORTUNE :)
I hate the idea that says: as long as I’m ok, have enough money for myself, can afford a good level of life, then I shouldn’t have worries. NO! I thank God day and night for what I have, but I still want more to change this time in which life has become like a “hair-dryer” blowing our money far away in different unknown directions leaving us as dry as a dehydrated lake. People look at it, wishing it had water and fish to offer them, but they find nothing but a wasted space. I’m serious, think of it, you’d be living let’s say with your salary, and then your roommate or spouse for example gets a job. You’ll find out so soon that it’d be a disaster if one of you two lost their job, ALTHOUGH you were managing with one before your partner got the job. Money is so easily and quickly blown away nowadays. But you know what, I guess it’s something wrong in us. We don’t stick to a certain measure. I mean necessity is dependant of money sometimes. Little money make satellites an extra luxurious entertainment device, but a lot of money makes them a necessity. Little money find a telephone perfect for keeping in touch. A lot of money makes it a necessity to have an internet connection and a mobile phone if not two.
Even wishes differ from a layer to the other. If you ask a poor person what he wishes for, he’ll say: “I wish I’ll fall asleep peacefully and when I wake up the next morning I wont worry about how would I get money to feed my family”. And when you ask someone with more money he’d reply: “ I wish to have a house of my own”. But when you ask a rich person, he’d answer: “ I wish to build a palace in each country I love”, and finally when you ask a super rich fellow, he’d answer: “ I wish to have a wish”.
No one is satisfied with what they have, all want more money, even if they deny it. Some wish for themselves to have more, some wish to have more for others, and some wish to have more for both themselves and others, and I belong to the last group.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t survive with little money, and that doesn’t mean that if we wish to have more but we don’t then it’s the end of the world.
It’s a sweet self-challenge that keeps us active, creative, motivated and ambitious. Even if we don’t fulfill any of our wishes, we’d still have the honor of feeling, trying and dreaming.
But one thing we should all keep in mind: money is a big responsibility; you should know how to spend it, where to spend it, when to spend it and on what and on whom to spend it. Money is a test, you either pass and lead a happy life, or fail and then all the money of the world wont succeed in putting a true smile on your face. Money isn’t what controls us and our desires, we are the ones to control money. Money can never replace a true friend, can never be your heart, and shall never take the place of your mind. Money isn’t a goal, it’s the means of reaching some goals. Money is very important indeed, but it must never be your first priority. And always remember, we don’t live to collect money, we collect it to help us live.