Here’s a question: To what extent to we need to/can we say that we “have” money? I’ve been thinking about it and what with the rather obvious fleeting nature of riches (as our economy seems to be telling us at the moment), I’ve concluded that though I have earnt a lot of money, I don’t have much at the moment, and that’s because I’ve spent it all again. On, you know, practical things, like a roof which I then put over my head, or food which I then put over the table, according to the usual sayings. (Was tempted by the food though so it ended up in my stomach. And the roof wasn’t a lot of good without four walls to support it…)
Anyway, I’ve decided that trying to think in terms of “having” money is rather useless as we didn’t arrive with any of our own and we won’t be able to take any when we go, “I started out with nothing and I still got most of it left” to quote Seasick Steve. But I’m still alive and that’s because money does at some point pass through my hands which is helpful because then I can buy food and clothes and stuff.
I’ve decided it’s foolish to hoard it up for the ultimate aim of fulfilling your own luxuries and pleasures. Folk who do never seem to be as satisfied as you thought they might be. Seems to take an awful lot to get not very much. Better to just live with what we got and enjoy it. History speaks of those who have made millions in industry only to become great charitable philanthropists at a certain point later in life. For example David Reynolds in his book “America: Empire of Liberty” comments on ‘industrial titans’ like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and Cornelius Vanderbilt who all took this very route (pp. 245-6).
Anyway I hope you get what I mean. Many of us talk in terms of ‘having’ money but pretty soon someone will take it away again. Oh it’s not wrong to save up for things responsibly, many do very well, like for their kids’ education or whatever. Money is a good means to an end. But it’s not a good end. As an end it will ruin you – many Las Vegas victims from Hollywood and history will tell you so.
Call me old fashioned, disagree with me and carry on how you were. But suddenly I just feel a bit lighter.