As a result of many challenging circumstances, I’ve had really interesting conversations with people about money lately. Almost every one of them believe that they don’t have enough…and desperately so. I fully understand the challenges of the world today, I know some who have lost jobs and homes…but, without being specific to any given person, is it because our society has just been too greedy for too many years? I know my parents had very poor childhoods, but still remember it with great fondness because, quite frankly, they had the love and support of their family, neighbors and their churches. My father remembers his mother leaving leftovers out past the back gate for the hobos on their way to the railroad. He does remember how difficult it was at times, but he was happy. He taught me to believe that we have exactly what we need for every given moment, and I really try to live by that axiom…even through the ulcers of trying to cover our expenses. And…I was feeling pretty maudlin about it all.
The next day, friends asked my husband and I over for “an opportunity to save some money” and because they are good friends and I didn’t want to hurt their feelings we went. By the end of the presentation I felt sick, not because it necessarily was a bad deal, but every person giving their testimony talked about how much money they made and all the stuff they were able to buy and how little work they had to do to get it and now lived the life of leisure which is every one’ s dream. Really? isn’t having too much stuff the core of many of today’s financial problems? I don’t want a life of leisure and endless spending and vacations. I want to feel passionate about the work I do, and have it benefit people. I don’t mind hard work, and building a practice where people feel welcome and we are trusted. What I do mind is the expectation that they shouldn’t have to pay for it. The sense of a fair exchange seems missing today, everyone wants something for nothing. One person commented during this presentation. “I make more money now doing little to nothing than I did my entire career.” I have to say, I was a bit appalled. Maybe I’m naive to think that life should be more than one long vacation. I walked away feeling more relaxed about my choices. Life is hard right now, I won’t lie…but I certainly don’t think a ton of easy money would necessarily make it any better. I don’t want something for nothing because it leads down a road that somehow discourages personal culpability. I want to celebrate the results of a strong effort and have the world be a better place because of it.