The Puzzling Obsession with Money
Let me start this post off with saying that money, in some respects, can be considered essential. Our lives as they currently are revolve around it, because that’s how it works. BUT. There are many aspects of this concept that are… interesting at best, and downright awful at worst.
Firstly, the concept of money itself. It originated from the value of trading, or bartering really: it used to be that in order to obtain two dozen eggs, you’d have to give items that equal the value of two dozen eggs, say a bushel of apples or two buckets of fresh milk. However, as value is subjective, eventually the price of objects had to be standardized, and thus currency is born. It is, essentially, the middle man between two items being traded in a very indirect way. This currency used to be weighted with something like gold, or even silver, but in the modern day there is no such thing. As there’s no grounding standard that makes money even have its value, modern money is essentially worthless by itself; the only reason we still have it at all is due to the fact that we are told it still has value. By whom? The people printing this money, who are steadily increasing the amount of physical bills and coins, thus causing inflation of something that is only worth any sort of value by pretending it has value. In the end, though, it’s still worthless.
Secondly, the impact money has on people’s lives. You may say that you’re not obsessed with money, and for most people this is correct…. in terms of greed. The excessive hoarding of money is, indeed, something uncommon, though its concept is well known and many stories have it as a major theme. However, an obsession can cover anything, from good habits to bad, and with money it is especially prominent. How many times have you gotten a paycheck and worried about your expenses for the month? How many times have you looked at the bill and thought ‘oh no, I’m running out of money’? We become dependent on money to even function in society– everything costs money. Gas, food, clothing, electric bill, religion even organized social endeavors cost some money. Everything revolves around money, whether people realize it or not. The strangest thing, however, is the fact that everyone is content with this way of living. They don’t question if it’s even worth their time and effort to worry about this concept that rules their entire lifestyle, they simply accept it and abide by it, thinking that they will succeed by being obsessed. This may have been the case in the distant past, but now? Inflation is rising at an alarming rate, and yet there is no growth to possibly offset this. We are drowning in our obsession in money, because we falsely believe that money still has worth. Not only that, but people can lose their lives over this whole ordeal, whether through their own stupidity (don’t even get me started on the nonsense that is the stock market) or by others’ actions (the whole murdering people for money trick is a classic).
It boggles me that people don’t realize that the entire premise of their lives is the very thing that makes them struggle. Of course, you have to acknowledge that there even is a problem before you can go solving it… which a whole ‘nother can of worms to open. If there’s any advice to glean from this, try to be as unobsessed and as independant of the ties money forces you into. It’s bad enough that we have to pretend it’s worth anything to anyone.