Posted in advice

For the Love of Money (and the Death of Peace)

What can be said about our motivations in life?  There are plenty of reasons why we do what we do, and I touched on it a bit when I went down the path of being motivated by love or money.  The problem with money, is that it does motivate us, and sometimes the love of money motivates us do to the wrong thing.  After we have made the money, we use it for things that we enjoy or that our family and friends may enjoy.  But when we spend that money, it can become a tit for tat, on who owes what to who. 

And while I do not want this book to turn into a theological discussion, there are some practical aspects from the Bible, that if we applied to ourselves, we could have more peace in our lives.  The expression that comes to minds is “But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back.”  The point is that when you lend your money, expecting to get repaid, it can harm the relationship you have with that person.  On the other side, that person, should want to repay you. 

I, myself, do not like being in debt to others, and I usually offer to pay, and don’t worry about how much everything cost.  If I go out with my friends, I expect to pick up the bill, because I don’t want to sit there and nit pick over who had what and what is fair.  The point of going out, isn’t about the cost, it is about having a good time, worrying about money at the end will ruin that.  If I can’t afford to pick up the bill, I offer for people to come to my house, or we can meet at a park, and have pot luck, or I just don’t go out.

This can also apply when parents get divorced, it is easy for the parent paying child support to get mad about having to pay that money.  Especially when, it may be that the receiving parent may not be spending it wisely.  Unfortunately, worrying about this isn’t going to change anything, just let it go, and focus on making sure your children are happy.  In this situation, the kids are the most important thing, and kids are smart, they will figure out who has their best interests at heart.  And when they grow up, they will remember who took care of them, and try to take care of that parent, and throw the other one in an abusive nursing home.

Another verse to remember is that, you will reap what you sow.  If you look past the things that don’t matter, and focus on the things that do, you will find a lot more peace, because you will be sowing peace.  Fighting about nonsense will only breed more fighting, and fighting about money is the most nonsensical thing out there.  Love your exes and your enemies, and don’t worry about the money you may give or lend them, it just isn’t worth it.

Posted in perspective

Love or(/and) Money (The Real Choice)

Why do we get up in the morning Monday through Friday versus sleeping in?  Chances are it is because of a job, a job that may be loved or hated.  So, I have always been of the opinion that we have the jobs we have because we either love them or we get money out of them and that offsets the hate we may have toward them.

If you are one of the lucky few, you may get paid enough to live on and also love what you do, congratulations on winning the lottery.  But a lot of us do what we love and struggle to get by, or we slog through the week to make enough money that we can take care of ourselves, family, and maybe some extra for doing fun things or other hobbies.  I am an engineer, I enjoy the people I work with, but I can’t say math and science are things I love to do and would do for free.  Maybe there are some people out there who do calculus and physics calculations for fun, but I am not one of them.

I write this blog because I enjoy it, but other than some pennies that I get in ad revenue, I am only doing it to blow off some steam.  Other people play sports or video games, some watch, others may build models, or sing, or dance, or act, and some are so good people voluntarily pay watch or buy.  That is the marketplace, where through choices we each make we dictate how much value something has.  If it has value to us, we will pay for it, and if it doesn’t, we will do it ourselves.

When I call the plumber, it is because I don’t want to deal with problem I am having and I will pay what he asks, shop around if I don’t like his price, or do it myself if I really don’t want to spend whatever everyone is asking for.  That is my choice, same goes with the AC, electricity, yard work, etc.  The people doing the work, may love it or love the money they get from doing it.  But ultimately it is a choice, and I do not have a right to anyone of their labors or products.  Doctors and nurses fall into this category too, if they love what they do, they may choose to do it for free, but if they want to get paid, that is their choice, and how much I am willing to pay for their services is my choice too.

My point is, I don’t have right to their services, and regardless of my insurance situation, they can choose to take insurance or not.  If a doctor or nurse wants to accept cash only, they can, and if they are really good, they may be able to do that.  But thinking that insurance equals medical care is silly, because plenty of these professionals choose not to take insurance, just like some stores don’t take American Express.  When they love their jobs, they may not charge a whole lot, and they may even volunteer to do it for free.

I can tell you, if my engineering services got deemed a right, because people feel they have a right to streets, clean water, gasoline, and electricity, I would change my profession to something I like more or get paid more to do.  And if I was about to start college, you can bet that would affect my decision on what I would major in.  That is why the great freedom of being able to choose to do what you love or do it for the money is so important, because when your services get deemed a right to others, eventually you do it because someone is pointing a gun at you.  At that point, you don’t do a great job because of the reward you may get, you do the minimum you have to, to not get shot.

I have cousin who still lives in Cuba, she is a nuclear physicist, she gets paid $10 a month, because she needs to keep the power up, and if she doesn’t, she will be imprisoned or shot.  When she is done, she chooses to sell coffee to tourists, because she makes $20 a day.  She does one to not die, the other she does for money so she can enjoy life a little bit more.

The United States is a great country, because when we graduate high school, we can choose between what we love and what will make us money.  We can choose where to spend that money, and we can choose if we are willing to make someone else rich, or try to be rich ourselves.  We can also choose to not care about the money and do what we love.  And who knows, people may love what we do out of love, so much that they make us rich.

The power to choose is what eventually makes us all rich, rich in the ways that matter to us.  At the root of all choices I contend is the choice between what we love and what makes us money, and if we are lucky, we can have both.