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Saturday, 3 December 2016

Money Myths and Limitations

“I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor---and rich is better.” -- Sophie Tucker

“A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles.” –Edgar Watson Howe

Economists will tell you that “money is a medium of exchange and a means of deferred payment.” True, but modern civilization has conferred much more on money. People have virtually elevated money to something else. I have no doubt in my mind that nearly everyone knows what money is, it being a universal commodity. But the notion of its importance may vary from person to person. I do not know of anyone that will choose poverty if they had an opportunity to be rich. Money is good no doubt but it is certainly not everything. This article does not advocate the elevation of money to something else hence the necessity to clearly highlight the limitations of money. Peoples’ belief in the importance of money is not helped much by modern fiction writers and many soap operas on television designed for entertainment.

In my secondary school days, we read a lot of James Hadley Chase who wrote a few titles like: “You are dead without money; A whiff of money,” etc. These fictional presentations left indelible impressions in our young minds about the importance of money. Sadly, in this age and time, a lot of people still believe these things. Money is important no doubt but like everything else invented by man, it has its limitations. It is an irony of life that money which readily commands respect as one of the most important of human inventions abysmally fails when it comes to the most important things in life. There is no human invention which receives so much attention, so sought after and generates so much controversy as money. No doubt, money is important but so are its limitations. It is good to look for money but only by legitimate means. It is therefore not advisable to steal, kill or maim in order to have money. Poverty is not a crime but it is infinitely better not to be poor. Today, this wonderful piece of human invention called “money” is the only item that has succeeded in dividing the entire world into two distinct categories: the “haves” and the “have-nots” or the rich and the poor. “Many people have lots of money but they are very poor. The best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched.”

In spite of all the limitations of money, it is immensely better to have it than to lack it. Money is good. It is not evil. It is excessive love of money that is evil. Money is an excellent servant but a bad master. “It is good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it is good too to occasionally make sure that you haven’t lost the things money can not buy. Personal prosperity means more than wealth.”

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