March 2

I see no point in money
except to buy off anxiety.
I don't want to be rich.
I want to be unanxious.

John Betjeman


Today's Meditation:

John makes me think about money in a different way.  Something that he makes me realize is that much of my relationship with money is determined by the anxiety that comes from the possibility of not having enough of it.  I'm much less concerned with the amount of money that I'll have than I am with the idea of running out of it when I need it--and then what?

Personally, I see more points in having money than John does.  I like to travel and see new places and revisit places I've seen before.  Without money, I would never have been able to visit the National Parks that I've visited so far, for example.  But another thing that I know is that I'm not defined as a person by the amount of money I have.  Nor will I ever be made happy by having money--and I even could be happy without seeing all the National Parks, for example, if I were living completely without anxiety, couldn't I?

People who want to be rich often think that all of their problems will be completely solved by having more money.  But one of the most interesting dynamics about money that I've learned--often the hard way--is that the more you have, the more you need.  As your income rises, so do your needs, it seems.  Without money, we don't have expensive cell phone contracts, we drive modest cars, we wear clothes that are more functional. . . and we tend to be quite satisfied with those things.  The presence of money, though, gets us to start looking around to see what more we can have, and up goes our stress level as we choose between different wants rather than fulfilling needs.

While there are times I would love to have lots of money (and the things that can come with it), I'd much rather live the rest of my days in an unanxious state.  Without any anxiety, imagine how much more of the world I'd be able to notice and enjoy!

Questions to consider:

Why does money tend to add anxiety to our lives?

Would you like to be rich if it meant a rise in your anxiety levels? 

What kinds of purposes does money truly fill in our lives?  For those purposes, do we need lots of it?

For further thought:

Money has never made people happy, nor will it;
there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness.
The more of it one has the more one wants.

Benjamin Franklin


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