Nathanael Garrett Novosel, March 23 2022

Money Is the Root of All Awesome

"Money is the root of all evil."  Yes, it's a cliché because people will do horrible things over money: lie, cheat, steal, fight, and even kill.  It's also the source of much jealousy in this world: some people have it; some people don't; some people resent that others have more than they do (regardless of how much they have).  But most anger, jealousy, resentment, and hatred about money is a misunderstanding of what it represents, how it works, and what you can do or how you can act differently as a result of this new view of money.

Money is a currency, which is effectively two things: a medium of exchange and a store of value.  As a medium of exchange, it allows multiple people who want different goods or services provided by the others to be able to have some way of trading without straight bartering.  For example, if one person grows corn, another tailors suits, and a third person provides therapy, the tailor can get therapy, the farmer can get a suit, and the therapist can get corn without having to figure out convoluted calculations such as how much corn equals a suit and what else to trade for if the tailor only wants a few ears of corn and so is not willing to trade a whole suit for it.  As a store of value, it allows someone who doesn't need any products or services today to be able to provide his or her services today in exchange for something that will have roughly the same value to others in the future when he or she does need something.  Together, the farmer can sell a few ears of corn to the tailor and therapist; the the tailor can sell a suit to the farmer; and the tailor can save the money from the sale of the suit for when he or she actually needs therapy.

But that's not all!  Now that there is a medium of exchange and a store of value available, people can do two things: specialize in the work that they are best at and work during set times.  Without a means to trade at all, everyone would have to do everything themselves or as communal groups, which reduces productivity (since every person has things that they're better at than others) and might breed issues with peers you work with as to who's contributing more (while that never goes away, it's reduced with trade and currency).  Without money as a means of trade, it's hard to calculate contribution/value precisely and people get ripped off more frequently.  Without a store of value, people would have to do everything whenever they needed it or immediately fulfill any debt obligation through work, which doesn't work well if you're injured, sick, or vacationing.

The most important part of all of the above is the point I snuck in there about what money represents: it represents value delivered to others.  Effectively, it's an "I owe you" credit system.  If you have money, it means you delivered value to someone else and deserve value to be delivered to you in return.  If you are in debt, it means that you have delivered less value to others than you have received from them.  Yes, I know that people can complain all day about how hard they work, that they don't get paid enough, and that other things cost too much (aka that others are greedy), but remember that rent represents someone else letting you stay on property that they own and take care of and that food, clothing, and other goods required others' labor to get as well.  So the person who believes that they "deserve" or are "entitled" to someone else's labor without reciprocation is the greedy one (barring the chronically sick, injured/disabled, or otherwise unable to contribute).

So here are the many reasons why this proper view of money—that it is awesome because it shows the value you deliver to others and is used to make your life much, much better than it would be otherwise—will make your life much, much better:

There are probably many more reasons, but I've run out of ones that came off the top of my head and so am stopping here.  But the big question is, why is a blog on the meaning of life writing about how great money is?  Well, hopefully if you've read The Meaning of Life or can read into the themes behind how great money is, you can see what this has to do with life.

To feel meaning and value, you have to believe that it is.  Your life, therefore, can have a lot of meaning and value if you can show that you earned a lot of money delivering value to other people (note: you don't have to keep the money; you can give it all to charity if you want and still have the satisfaction that you delivered a lot of value with the work you did and then gave away what you earned from said work—that's a boss move).  You have to have the freedom of choice to feel that your life has meaning, and money gives you more freedom.  You have to grow to feel meaning, and you can either grow your finances or use your finances for other growth areas—either way, it gets you growth (and I'm not even counting the growth-enabling output of your labor in this calculation!).  You have to have support, and money allows you to give and receive support to/from others much, much more easily.

I could go on and on.  But money is a wonderful part of life because it helps you accomplish more, be more helpful to others, have more freedom, grow more, recover from setbacks more easily, and be more fair and ethical.  It really is the source of so much awesomeness.  Yes, it's not literally the "source of all awesome" (just like it's not the "root of all evil"), but it is pretty damn awesome.  And your life will be much more awesome if you have a more positive attitude about the value you provide to others and the value that they provide to you.  The best way to do that is to have a more positive attitude about money, and hopefully this post will give you the reframe you need to enjoy the fact that you have to earn and spend money to live your best life!  It's not a bad thing!

Written by

Nathanael Garrett Novosel


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