When I hear people saying money isn_t important, the person making the statement usually has little money, and is not competitive in the process of making money. They either have become comfortable with a set of values that de-emphasizes money, or they use this rationale to quell their discomfort about not having money.
The mere presence of money brings no guarantees that happiness will be there too. However as a lubricant to the happiness process, it really helps. Look at th
• If you are considered unattractive, you can turn to plastic surgery, beautiful clothes, skin treatments, body building, etc. To make a real difference in how you feel about yourself.
• If you are falsely accused of something, and run the risk of going to jail, the ability to hire the best of legal talent makes a massive difference. Many innocent people are spending time behind bars (which is a very unhappy experience) while those who could afford good legal assistance are a lot happier because they never go to jail. (Patty Hearst participated in bank robberies and never received much in the way of punishment).
• If your best friend is getting married in a distant city, you go to the wedding and paaarticipate in the happy event. Without money you send a card.
Figure out what makes you happy and keep moving in that direction. If a lot of money isn_t needed, don_t spend too many anxious moments worrying about getting money. The money alone will not make you happy.
The Meaning of Money
1. So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d_Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can_t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is
2. “When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value tooo money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor – your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?
3. “Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions – and you_ll learn that man_s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.
4. “But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man_s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made – before it can be looted or mooched – made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can_t consume more than he has produced.
5. e by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss – the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery – that you must offer them values, not wounds – that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men_s stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade – with reason, not force, as their final arbiter – it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability – and the degree of a man_s productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?
6. “But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality – the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.
7. “Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants: money will not give him a code of values, if he_s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he_s evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
8. Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth – the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
9. `Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men_s vices or men_s stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment_s or a penny_s worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you_ll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?
10. “Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?
11. “Or did you say it_s the love of money that_s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It_s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money – and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.
12. “Let me give you a tip on a clue to men_s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it