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Money Love – Part One

Money is the root of all evil.  The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). This frequently misquoted biblical reference is what I’m thinking about today.  

If money were the root of all evil, that would sure be an easy enough problem to solve: just burn all the money.  Bam!  No more evil.  Though, you might have some Federal laws with which to contend.

Unfortunately, the problem is infinitely more complicated.  Love is a human emotion and you cannot burn emotions, at least that I know of.  Although, some emotions may lead to burning sensations…

Moving on.

The topic infiltrated my brain after reading this article in the Charlotte Observer.  In their “Young Voices” forum, the Observer poses questions to young persons, obviously, college aged and under.  Here’s how they phrased September 13th’s question: 

Does happiness or satisfaction with life come with a price-tag? Evangelist David Platt says we should all live on no more than $50,000 and give away what’s left. A new study in Time magazine says $75,000 is the benchmark for happiness. What do you think? Has too much emphasis been placed on material possessions?

You may argue that it’s nonsensical to analyize the thoughts of these immature (intended in the clinical sense of the word, not as an insult) minds.  Teenagers frequently do things that don’t make any sense: they jump off of buildings, they consume massive amounts of carbohydrates without gaining a pound, THEY LIKE THE JONAS BROTHERS.

So why am I taking note of their financial inclings?  Because kids are like sponges: they collect germs and they absorb things, like what adults say for example. 

I can picture an adult I know saying every single one of these statements and, in some cases, that annoys me.

 

On Money in General

People now seem to go to their jobs just to make money and aren’t doing what they love or even like to do, just because they want to make money. – Age 14

I think that financial stability can be an important part in making a person’s life less stress free, it will not define a person as being “happy” or “unhappy”.  – Age 17

1. People don’t just want to make money, they need to make money.  Having a job you enjoy is nice, but it isn’t a necessity. 

Unless you’re living on some sort of commune that grows it’s own food and makes it’s own toilet paper, you need to trade your services (work) for the things you need (food & toilet paper).  Money is great because it means you don’t have to go to the TP factory or slaughter house directly and work for a couple of quilted squares and/or steaks every time you need them.  Money is a big timesaver.

2. I certainly don’t expect a teenager to understand the stress associated with money.  However, financial problems are the #1 stressor in America, therefore, happiness is absolutely linked to financial stability. 

 

On Materialism 

It seems that the whole world is more concerned with material things than just being happy in their lives. Money is not the key to happiness. People care more about what they have than enjoying your life with the people they love. So many people are getting too materialistic in this world. – Age 14

I think if everyone in the world would cut back on the things we want and start buying just the things we need, then the world would be a better place.  – Age 14

We should be happy with what we have and not always look for more materialistic things. We always seem to be wanting more. We should be happy no matter what we make, how many pairs of shoes we have, or the kind of car we drive. Age 14

1. I would argue that people are actually obsessed with being happy; they simply mistake the roll that material goods play in their happiness.  

2. What if we did buy only the things we need?  I don’t need a pillow, or a bed for that matter.  But I like my pillow; my bed not so much.  My pillow adds to my quality of life; as does my toilet, my computer, and my frames with pictures of my family (not in that order). 

3. If everyone were merely satisfied, if we all just made do, there would be no ambition. What if I work hard and I save my money to buy a new pair of shoes? Should I not buy the shoes because I already have another pair?  I’M BUYING THE SHOES, and you can’t stop me.

I understand the point this youngin’ is trying to make about how many people aren’t grateful for what they have.  However, all wants do not indicate dissatisfaction with life. On the contrary, many of our wants are linked to a desire to improve our and our family’s lives.  

 

On Giving

I think that people need to be paid on how much they work and should not give away what they’ve earned to folks who don’t earn. – Age 14

I believe you could live with $50,000 or $75,000 or maybe even less, if you spend it wisely and not on things you really don’t need. Yes, I do believe you can give away all the extra because there are a lot of people who are in way more need than we are. – Age 14

One of these girls doesn’t want to give at all, one wants to give it all. 

The ability to give is arguably the greatest reward of financial stability and freedom. In fact, many have found that individuals who give charitably accumulate significantly more wealth than those who don’t.  

That said, is the accumulation of wealth evil?  Should we have to give any money over a certain, magical threshold away?  I don’t think so, but that’s just me.

 

Stop by tomorrow to read Part Deux – the kid’s and my conclusions.  In the mean time, let it simmer.


Article publié pour la première fois le 27/09/2010

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