I live in a different country from my parents so I don’t see or speak to them very often (yes I know that’s a lame excuse). The last two occasions ended up in shouting and then a nagging follow-up email from my mom (which makes me want to avoid them even more).
The second last conversation and follow-up email was all about money. Over coffee I (stupidly) shared my financial situation to them which resulted in them sharing their total shock and disappointment in me (don’t worry, I am not destitute but I will accept donations to my vacation fund (scuba diving in the Maldives)).
The last conversation and follow-up email was also kind of about money. I told them that I had had enough of the poorly managed company I worked for and my idiot boss and I was about to have a breakdown. I (stupidly) then went on to tell them that I resigned from my nice cushy job and was toying around with the idea of doing charity work, starting a small cookie company, and potter around at home for the rest of the time. Cue disapproving, totally unsupportive comments from my mom (the concept of positive support doesn’t really exist in my family) along the lines of you’re going to fail, you’re not going to make any money, you’re going to be poor, etc.
Other than being reminded yet again that my parents think I’m a total failure, the only other take-away is that my parents think that having money and having a job (to generate money) ARE really important.
This is a common belief amongst many people but I don’t agree with them.
There are a lot of post-apocalyptic tv shows right now – Falling Skies, The Walking Dead, Revolution, etc. Have you seen how useful money is in post-apocalyptic world? We have plastic notes so I don’t think I could even burn them for warmth.
Thankfully we haven’t been invaded by aliens or run over by zombies or had a virus eat all the energy in the world. What good is money to us? It’s a means of acquiring things or experiences (‘stuff’). Last week I used money for human food, pet food, petrol, parking, a visit to the chiropractor, a book, guitar lessons and several beers at the bowling alley. I also used a 20 cent coin as a guitar pick. Except for food, I could survive without the rest of that ‘stuff’ (yes I know we could grow/raise our own food but I live on the 26th floor and I can’t fit cows in the elevator up to my apartment). It is nice to have ‘stuff’ but we all probably have more ‘stuff’ than we actually need and we keep acquiring even more ‘stuff’ all the time. Which is funny because I can’t take any of the ‘stuff’ with me when I die. You know the quote “he who dies with the most toys wins!”? He who dies with the most toys… left a lot of stuff behind.
Don’t get me wrong – I like money and I like using it to acquire things or experiences. But I don’t think the attainment of money should be something that takes up a significant portion of my day/week/month/year/life.