When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.
– Voltaire


Heard of these worthy quotes?

-’Money cannot buy happiness’

-‘Money can buy a bed, but not sleep’

-‘Love for money is the root of all evils’

Quotes such as these smack of a negative attitude towards money. There is no dearth of stories that paint money and wealth as a villain. Remember the story of a rich man (who does no work) spending sleepless nights on a cozy bed as compared to a poor man (a labourer) having a sound sleep on a hard ground?

To an impressionable mind, they could fill his mind with a loathe for money. Loathe that would put such a person on a dangerous path of self-harm in money matters.

If money were really such as bad thing, why would almost everybody long to have it? Why would money become the barometer of smartness and social status?

Negativisms abound in every sphere of human life, so money is no exception. But given the all-pervading impact of money, negativism could be nothing short of a catastrophe. So how does negativism of money affect our lives?

Firstly, the person nursing a negative attitude towards money develops a martyr’s mindset- suffering hardships to prove his point that money is worthless to him. Thus he turns himself into a self-righteous warrior against all things ‘stained’ by money. 

Second, the person denies himself a rightful chance to migrate to a higher station in life. A careful look around would show how some people turn away opportunities to earn a decent amount of money to live a life of penury.

Third, depending on individual circumstances, disdain for money also brings misery to the family members of such a person. Wealth collected over generations in a family could be lost by one such member.

So how does one make out such an individual?   

Two tell-tale signs are- one, opting for a lesser remunerative occupation over another higher one [this may be justifiable in cases of social service like a doctor opting to go to a village over a paying job in a city] and second, squandering money resulting in no savings worth the name.

So, whether reducing income or increasing spending, the effect is the same- lesser money in the kitty and practically no wealth to speak of.

What could be cause of this negativism? It is the tendency to complicate matters by relating money with values such as hard work, social justice, etc that encourages hatred for money. When a person begins to hate money, he generalizes that money is inherently bad and glorifies poverty. He fails to see money as a means to an end that needs to be judiciously managed. 

Some facts that need to be kept in mind are:

Ø  Most people around us earn money the hard way, barring criminals/scamsters, lottery winners and people who inherit pots of money and wealth. The rising middle class of India is the result of toil over the past 50 years. As more and more people migrated to cities in India and worked hard, they purchased houses in cities, built up a savings base and showed that there are ethical ways of earning sizeable amounts of money. Today our middle class exceeds the population of many countries of the world.

Ø   If money causes social injustices, the cause is in human tendency to exploit and not money itself. For example, farmers whose land is acquired for projects may not be given compensation that is adequate for loss of source of livelihood and other cultural and emotional factors attached to land.    

The last word is that no person can generate wealth if he has a negative attitude towards money. A money-life balance is called for, of which we shall talk in the next article.

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