Step 1: Go outside on a clear night.
Step 2: Look up.
Step 3: Behold.
Then, think about money.
How does it feel? How important is money?
Money is a tool. A resource. Its only value is in how it helps us achieve a good life, and how it allows us to help others, to further work, and to relieve suffering.
It is a tool for the Good.
It is a thing. An object. Something of no value in itself, whose only value is in relationship to something else. In service to the Good, money is an enabler, an accelerator, a servant.
That’s not how money often feels though, is it?
I find it sobering that every great religious and philosophical leader has warned about the dangers of money.
Jesus Christ: “You cannot serve both God and money… The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”
Plato: “The higher they rate money, the lower they rate goodness.”
The Buddha warned against attachment to wealth.
I am a business leader. I spent more waking hours working than any other single activity. And one of the results of all that work is money. It is an important result! If my company doesn’t make money, we fail. If I and my teammates don’t make money our lives get much, much harder.
It is HARD work to make money. Very hard. All this activity makes money feel extremely important.
We must regularly, individually and collectively, step back and remember: Money is only important as it relates to something MORE important.
That thing that is more important is what we must be about. Serve that, and money is in its right place.