From the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this post – “Without money we’d all be rich.” (Unknown) Squirrel pelts once served as money in Finland; copper crosses in the Congo; cheese in Italy; knives in China. Workers in Greece were sometimes paid in salt. The word, salary, comes from that.
Money was invented s a convenience for all. After all, how many squirrel pelts or punds of salt can we stuff into our wallets? In the beginning money was used only as a means of facilitating the exchange for goods, not as a scorecard. These days with the advent of the credit card and now electronic ways to pay for things money has become almost more a concept than a physical thing. The ultimate conceptualization of money is the BitCoin, which really has no physical manifestation at all. One seldom gets to see really big amounts of physical money; although, if you watch poker on TV at the end of every big tournament they have lovely ladies dump the grand prize money on the table in front of the final two contestants. – it’s quite impressive if the prize is over $1 Million.
Money is used more and more these days as a scorecard of success in life – how much you have demonstrates how successful and important you supposedly are. That has been true for quite some time, going back to the invention of the word Millionaire to describe someone with lots and lots of money. These days a Millionaire might be considered to be a piker in the Billionaires club. Once the numbers get that high it is impossible for most “normal’ to really grasp that amount of money. Of course, unless they pour it in the casket with him, no Millionaire has yet taken it with him when he dies.
Back to the little saying for the day; what would we have that would make us all rich without money as a scorecard of things? People without money often look around them and observe the riches of the land, the wonder of the birds in the air, the fish in the seas and natures abundance in the forests. These are usually people who are so far removed from “civilized societies” that they have yet to be corrupted by the concept of money. It is easy to imagine that one could feel “rich” if one lived I an environment that supplied all that was needed to live close at hand, like the cave man. Hungry? Go pick that fruit over there or catch that fish out in the water. Need clothes? Use that animal skin or weave cloth from the fibers of that plant over there. That is a simple, subsistence way of life that thankfully we have moved beyond. As we did we also lost most of the ability to see the riches that are all around us. Perhaps that s part of what the saying for today is alluding to.
But, living a rich life means more than just taking care of one’s basic needs to survive; it means having one’s health and it means having meaningful and rewarding relationships with others. It means appreciating what you have and not coveting what someone else has. It means finding joy in the simple pleasure of peaceful moments alone and great happiness in those moments shared with others. It means stopping to smell the roses and to appreciate all of those things around you that add shape and color, or smells or tastes or sounds to your environment and make it vibrant and interesting. Money can’t buy the feelings that you get laying on your back in the grass on a warm day and starting up at the clouds as they float by. Money can’t buy the wonderful smell of puppy breath from your new puppy or the soft touch of the skin of a new-born baby in its mother’s arms. Those are riches that have nothing to do with money.
So, take some time to think about and appreciate all of the things around you and in your life that money can’t buy – the things that Nature supplies and the loving relationships of which you are a part. Once you do, you will have identified the most valuable things in our life. We are all rich indeed, if we just know how to look at our lives and we don’t need money for that.