“Mommy, What is Rich?”
When i was a little kid, i had no concept of money, or of being rich or poor (although we were technically closer to poor.) If i wanted something, my mother would explain why i didn’t really need it and that was that. Sure, i knew there were kids in my class who had stuff i didn’t have but it didn’t become an issue until high school, when my best friend got on a big private bus to get to Jamaica High, while I had to take the Q44 down Queens Blvd and then walk 3 long blocks to the school. It was then that my mom conceded that she didn’t have the $30 a month it cost. For the first time, i felt poor! This thing called money had separated me from my friends in a way that was so embarrassing to a 14 year old.
The Blinders Come Off!
As a teen-ager it became quite apparent to me how important money was and how deprived I was because I didn’t have any. I felt sorry for myself for a while but, honestly, it made me more independent and creative. I had to find ways to get what I wanted rather than having it given to me without my effort. Fortunately, my mother taught me how to be a comparison shopper—she was a fabric buyer on 7th Ave and showed me what quality fabrics and clothing construction looked like, so I could purchase well made clothes at a reasonable price. I got a job at the A&P and I hung out with friends who shared my interests.
Money is the Root of All Evil?
Of course, it’s not money itself that’s evil, it’s the user of the money. It’s up to us how we utilize money, what we imagine money is for. Do we think, “Oh if I have a lot of money, I’ll be rich- I’ll be wonderfully happy- I’ll be able to buy whatever I want, and everybody will envy me?” I think you’ve heard enough stories to know that’s not true. Money doesn’t give us happiness. Yes, it’s essential to have food to eat and a place to live. But we can easily escalate a sense of poverty even when we have all the necessities. Our consumer economy with the help of advertising coming at us from every medium, has brainwashed us to believe that we NEED that new gadget or that new car. Keeping up with the Joneses is a national sport. And that begs the question, “How can I make more money to get the stuff?”
How Much Money is Enough?
The problem, as you often hear me say, begins within our own mind. In other words, if we are not happy because we can’t buy the coveted thing, our melancholy is rooted in our twisted thinking. We drank the cool-aid and believe that money will make us happy because then we can buy those things. We are so outer-directed that we don’t even know what we really like because we don’t spend any time discovering who we are.
Money and Creativity
This question of money and its purpose might give us cause to stop and think about what our life is like. Maybe, instead of spending our Saturdays at the mall salivating over the endless stream of merchandise, we could be taking a hike with friends at one of the beautiful parks we hardly ever enter and having a frisbee catch. We could be planning a game night or a trip to a museum or a house hop, eating different parts of a meal in each home. We could be reading a good book or watching a classic movie. Creativity comes when we invite it.
Money vs. True Value
So, rather than wasting time thinking about our lack of what we consider is enough money, we could be asking ourself, am I truly enjoying what I’m doing in my life? and if not, maybe i need to reexamine my priorities. That can be a bit of a challenge but just as I found it necessary as a teen-ager to put forth effort to uncover what was really important to me, we all have the ability to change what isn’t working in our life.
We all have an “inner guide” within us. We simply need to take the time to ask and then listen for an answer. My daily request is “Help me understand how I can live the most joyous, fulfilling and meaningful life; enjoy my family, enjoy my friends and be a source of happiness in the world.” And every day I receive a new directive which leads me in the way of peace and abundance. And I always have the money I need!
Peace and Love Always,
If you are interested in finding out more about MarciaGrace’s ‘Sitting” training program, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org