piggy bankIn the modern west, money is at the centre of almost all things. It provides security and power. It allows you to further education. Without it, it can get painfully difficult to get food, water, shelter, the things that are generally considered basic human rights.

People are often judged by the amount of money they have. It is often argued that the people who work hard enough to earn money, will always get that money and so it is justifiable to measure people by their wealth.

The people who say that are usually the people who have a lot of money, whether they earned it or were born into it.

If that were the case, though, there would be no nurses or doctors struggling to make rent while bankers and politicians have billions of pounds of disposable income.

It would be nice to not have to depend on money. Especially living under such a flawed system. But in order to maintain decent access shelter, electricity, water, food, clothing, education, all the essentials required for basic survival, you have no choice.

Ultimately, all you can do is make sure that your attitude to money is healthy, that you have a relationship with it that respects its value but retains a fair distance.

Money should never be considered an end goal. Having huge amounts of money is not an achievement.

Rather, having enough money that you have a solid safety net in case of financial emergencies is enough. It is all the money you will ever need to save.

It is not worth obsessing over. It is not worth becoming possessive over. It is unhealthy to assume that your value is based on the money you have. It is abhorrent to treat other people as if their money is the only worthy thing about them.

Hoarding money to the extent that you have billions of pounds gathering dust somewhere is pointless. Money that is left in bank accounts and trust funds does no good to anyone. Even the people who eventually inherit that money won’t be able to properly appreciate its value.

The true worth of money is not in how much of it there is, but in what is done with it. In the causes it furthers. In the people it helps. In the good it does. Whether it is spent on food or shelter or education or counselling or books or research or art, as long as it’s going somewhere positive, that is the goodness of money.

If it does nothing, if it waits in accounts doing nothing but gathering interest, if it gets thrown away on superficial, useless fancies, it is wasted.

There is a finite amount of money in the world. There are also a finite number of problems people face. Many of them can be solved by putting funding in the right place. As long as money is treated as a collectable, they won’t be.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen.