An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony
FOR most people having a good life involves money, because money in today’s society means social status.
Bigger house, more cars and flashier clothes all define your social status.
But there’s a saying that money can’t buy love and happiness. It’s true. As human beings we have dignity and self-respect and these are more valuable than money.
Some people get paid a lot to be used like puppets to do the bidding of the powerful or to be loyal to a fault. In some societies this is the lowest of the low. Picking up the scraps and trusting that some of their skills might rub on to you.
I can’t blame people for thinking like that; it’s something they see as holding out hope.
People like that see themselves differently, they believe if they cling on they will benefit more.
While others just move on because they realise that being lazy, unproductive, impressing the boss and becoming a pet are somewhere between undignified and useless.
Our parish priest on his homily on Sunday said money has two sides like a coin.
“The good side and the bad,” he told the congregation
“Money can be used to bribe people and get what you want, but it can also be used to help the church and others who are in need.
“They say money is the root of all evil, but money can help people if you use with for the right intensions.”
That got me thinking.
We rely on money not only for survival but also for social purposes: phone credits, deodorants, clothes, medical bills, utilities…. Even to wipe our ass we need toilet paper which costs money.
It’s hard to think of people who are so disadvantaged they don’t have money for the basics, like electricity. They sleep on cardboard on the sidewalk and burn newspapers to warm themselves.
We have to work hard for money and giving it away for charity is hardly easy.
We may have enough in our pocket to share, but there’s always be something you really need to buy.
Rich philanthropists seem to give away just enough to maintain their social status.
My dad always tells me that, when you earn money, save some, spend some and give some away. I think that’s why he is always helpful to others.
And I think that’s what we need to hear, the sound of our conscience, to be content. I think the world would be a better place if we sacrificed a little on some things - like alcohol, smoking and fast food – and gave some away.
I don’t know about you but seeing a person smile from my good deeds lifts my spirits.
I think there would be no poor if we shared more, but the question remains: why can’t we just be content.