April 25

Today's quotation:

I have watched people with vast amounts of money who would not give away a nickel out of fear that they would be made poor, and poor people who always seemed to have enough to share with others.  I have seen the gracious rich, the criminal poor, the hustler, and the saint.  All of them have one thing in common:  The way they deal with money is a result of how they think about money, not of how much money they have.

Kent Nerburn

Today's Meditation:

One of my most important lessons about money came from a man who had five children, who had treated them all to a trip to an amusement park one day (along with a couple of their friends), though the family isn't at all wealthy.  I told him I really admired the fact that he was willing to spend so much money on something like that for his family, which could be seen as an extravagance, but which also will provide wonderful memories for the family for the rest of their lives.  He just shrugged and said, "It's only money."

At the time, I didn't really understand how he could say that.  In my own life, having money always has been a struggle, partly because of my upbringing, and partly because of my (conscious) choice of professions (teaching).  As time goes on and on, though, I understand it more and more--money is simply one aspect of our lives, and if we try to hoard it or save it all the time, if we worry about it constantly or always wish we had more of it, money can become a very negative influence on our lives.

To me now, money is simply a means to an end.  I need to earn it to be able to function in society, of course, but I don't need to worship it or worry about not having enough.  As long as I keep on doing what I'm doing, earning enough money to live on and put a little away and provide gifts and help for other people, then I'm okay.  That's why at least once a year my wife and I plan a trip somewhere that will cost us money, but that will provide us with something new and different in our lives, and memories that will last as long as we do.  If that money just sits in a bank, we're not able to take advantage of the fruits of our labor, and if that's the case, what value did the labor have at all?

When we worry about the lack of money, we can actually cause more lack.  When we're grateful for the presence of money, we can cause more to be present.  Too often we're taught to stress about money we don't have rather than to celebrate the money that we do have--and our attitude about it goes a long way towards determining whether we have enough or not enough.

Questions to consider:

What do most of us truly fear about not having enough money?

Where do our attitudes towards money come from?

How might we change our attitudes towards money?

For further thought:

It's a grand thing to be able to take your money in your hand and to think no more of it when it slips away from you than you would a trout that would slip back into the stream.

Augusta Gregory

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