The Idolisation of Money

by Anna

On the hunt for a new phone contract I suddenly had an overwhealming sense of letting these ever so helpful shop assistants down by extracting all the information from them and then leaving without actually buying anything. I did say how grateful I was though! But is that enough for today’s society? How much is a “thank you” worth nowadays and how many digits would it have if it was a currency?

When I shared my sudden onset of remorse with a friend saying that they were surely hoping for a commission at the end of it he replied that basically everyone working in a service industry hates customers. Is that so? Do I hate my customers? Well, they can be quite demanding and picky, sometimes, I suppose, if I think about it, but hey, that is not the point!

What struck me more was the fact that there are people who work for the money only, not for the sake of the job they are doing. When I was trying to figure out how much to charge for my treatments I felt that I didn’t want to charge and instead to base my services on donations only. Because to me that felt right. I might have to explain here that my treatments are based on Energy Healing, which is probably quite a fishy thing to charge for. Or did I maybe just not feel worth it enough in order to come up with a decent charge?

Most disheartening I found comments such as: “If you don’t charge much, people will not value your treatments much either.” And my question leading on to this: How did we get there?

A long, long time ago, there was no such thing as money. There was an excellent invention called barter trade at work. People swapped items for something they thought of as equal in worth. A loaf of bread could be seen equal to a new garment. This is all very fair and square. I can even bring my raw chocolate in here too because raw cacao beans were traded like gold back in the Aztec times. There are many books to read about when, how and why money came into existence which is way too much to talk about here now.

I think that we have developed a distorted view of money and what it means to us. If you don’t have it, you have nothing to lose. If you have lots of it you have a lot to lose. Unfortunately those who do have loads will also want more of it leading to greed. My mum always said that money needs to stay in circulation. Let it flow out and it will flow back to you. I understand that this might sound rather unrealistic to you, but considering the law of attraction it actually does work.

What I want to bring across here is that we carry out jobs that we hate just because of the money. We resent having to work hard and forget to live our life to the full. We spend the money that appears as mere numbers on a screen or paper statement on stuff we need or simply just want for better of worse. Especially with online banking and online shopping it really just equals to shifting a few numbers on the screen. If we were all to consider the good old barter trade more often I believe it would bring a little bit more sense back into our life. Suddenly money might not be the main issue anymore. We might all of a sudden enjoy exchanging our life stories with others. We would learn more about the world, people and particularly the items we acquire.

What if the whole banking system one day goes bust? Will we barter again? Or will we panick because there are no numbers left on the screen? Money has become so idolised in this world that we forget who we are and why we are here. It is not only the money that matters. It is you and me that matter. People sharing a planet. If we don’t know how to interact with each other, then who will?

At the end of the day I have no idea about money or the institution bank. I don’t understand why money sometimes is worth more and sometimes less and I wonder how it affects foreign currencies. I save money for a rainy day but at times worry that it might be lost should I suddenly die and nobody can get to it. I do, however, love collecting coins from my travels and dearly miss the old individual currencies of Europe. I love my main job and gratefully receive the money it brings in. I charge for my little self employment what I think is fair because otherwise I worry that I wouldn’t get anything to cover my own expenses which accumulate.

Money is a funny concept. It has become part of our survival. Now that we don’t have to run away from wild animals anymore and hunt for our dinner we have settled for a life dependent on an illusion based on an institution which we are succumbing to like sheep. Maybe it is better that I don’t understand it. It might make me more of a free person. Or does it?