I’m fascinated with the concept of money. I believe money demands of you your highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. I love working for money. I love when my money works for me. I love using money to pay for the things I value. I’m comfortable with and appreciate the small necessary transactions that money allows. I love the big transformations money can provide. I hate when I don’t have enough money to do things I want to do. I love it when I have enough to invest in new and exciting interests.
Recently, I posted a question about money and wealth on my Facebook page that I expected to get some fun and interesting responses. I didn’t consider it to be a controversial topic at the time but boy was I wrong. I simply asked:
what do you consider to be an annual amount of income that would make you wealthy? As a follow up I asked what amount of net worth would make you wealthy?
To my surprise I received some pretty nasty responses along the lines of “how dare you ask about money?” and “money is the problem in this world how can you glorify its pursuit?” and finally “ money is the cause for all wars”. Well, needless to say I was a bit put off as result of the difference between what I was hoping to be a thought provoking question and discussion and the actual comments. I initially thought I should just stay away from this concept because it clrealy triggers tremendous dissonance with my fans and friends.
But, then I thought again. The fact that the subject is polarizing is not a reason to shut down discussion rather I think it makes it a more interesting subject- more worthy of pursuit and edification.
So, I’m going to ask for a little help from Ayn Rand and her book Atlas Shrugged where her character Francisco d’Anconia utilizes nearly 40 pages to defend the value of money. Oh, don’t worry I’m not going to make you read the 40 pages- (though you’d be the most informed person you know about the real concept of money) I’m just going to highlight a few quotes here to see if they trigger a more enlightened and cogent exchange.
From Atlas Shrugged
- Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them
- Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value
- When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others.
- Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on the moral principle, which is the root of all money.
- Wealth is the product of man’s ability to think.
- To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort.
- Money will not give you the unearned, either in matter or spirit
- To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men.
And finally for the haters out there:
- It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money- and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.
- Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with another- their only substitute, if the abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun
If you could see my face right now as I type these words- form these thoughts, and share Rand’s defense of money(and man) you’d see a blissful smile of a content man doing what he should be doing. Staking a claim to enjoy the fruits of his labor and hoping you do the same.
I’d also share that if any of the above statements ring true for you then its likely we share similar values and I hope that we can trade together soon and often. Whether you agree or disagree with the ideas above I hope you post your comments and contribute to a dialogue I find worthy of discussion and debate.