Some day, you'll appreciate this opportunity to quit filling your head with nonsense.
The Dalai Lama has condemned man’s sacrificing health to make money. Rubbish.
Capitalism is the best thing that ever happened to humanity.
Sorry to ruin everyone’s piety and enlightenment, here, but there is a lot more to this than the simplicity of saying, “I don’t place such a high value on money in my life.” Something every person who sees wisdom in such an outlook overlooks is that money, like many things in life, is symbolic. The thing that it symbolizes is the most valuable thing in life.
It is TIME.
Without money, you have to grow your own food, make your own fabric with which to sew your own clothes, purify your own water, generate your own electricity, build your own shelter, etc., ad nauseum.
Money is the only thing that makes it so that you get to enjoy the product of someone else’s labor to have what you need to survive. Without it, you have to find some other way of subsisting.
Next time, when denouncing a so-called obsessive preoccupation with money, substitute the word “TIME” for the word “money”. See if that doesn’t inform your perspective a little differently.
Nobody wants to have to provide for you without receiving something in return that enables them to care for themselves.
It’s called “money,” but it’s also called “LIFE,” because TIME is the unit of its measurement.
Ask someone who has money whether they have the freedom to take a ski vacation, or enjoy a nice meal, or go to a musical concert. Ask someone who lacks money whether they have those same options. And before you start denouncing my capitalist perspective, realize that before money existed, only the landed gentry enjoyed such things as leisure, music, art, comfort, good health or longevity. Nowadays, in capitalist societies (not so much in communist ones) anyone who can pay for it gets to enjoy all of those things. Gone are the days of artists working only for a Medici commission. You can listen to your favorite musician or see your favorite actor on your cell phone, all because someone named Steve Jobs thought it worthwhile to make such a device, and you could acquire it in the stream of commerce by virtue of a little thing called money. But for money, you would be waiting for the wandering minstrel to pass through your town and hoping he would sing for a few eggs from the chicken you had raised.
People who lack money have to spend their time differently than those who have money. The former have to spend their days trying to make sure there is food on the table, a roof over their head and clothes on their back. The latter get to spend their days deciding whether to take a trip to the library, or the movies, or working on projects around the house, or a trip to see the kids or one’s parents.
The people who miss out on life are the people who have no secure tomorrow, because they never learned how to live their life to be productive enough for others to give them money in exchange for what they do. The answer isn’t forming a commune and abolishing money. The answer is educating more people about the fact that to succeed and survive, you need to make yourself valuable to others. Money symbolizes that, too.
Nobody would be able to live by doing what they choose to do for a living, and nobody but a very few would be able to enjoy what others do for a living, if there was no such thing as money. Without it, people are isolated and insecure. The problem with a society that pursues equality at all costs is that it devalues what people do for a living by rewarding those who do nothing for a living, and consequently everyone learns to stand down, and scarcity sets in. Those who truly cannot support themselves deserve to be helped by those who can. But the number of true invalids is smaller by far than the huge numbers of people on the dole. Money is what makes people who are not royalty able to choose their own destiny, and to learn the easy way or the hard way how to make themselves valuable to others, which is the key to life. I doubt even the Dalai Lama would take issue with that.
If others don’t value what you do, they don’t give you their money. Everybody has choices about how they live, and the ones who make good choices do better than the ones who don’t. That’s how the ones who don’t make good choices eventually learn how to get things straight in their lives. It makes for unrivaled prosperity and maximum liberty.
So keep painting those horrible still lifes or writing those awful poems. But in the meantime, don’t quit your day job.