Money Talks. Do We Listen?

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EIGHT FINANCIAL SECRETS WALL STREET WISHES IT KNEW

The lover of silver will not be sated with silver – Ecclesiastes 5:9

Money is one loaded word.

Our approach to money very much reflects our approach to life. Money can be a catalyst for sublime change, but money can also be a catalyst for extreme dysfunction.

When they become adults, children often fashion their monetary mentalities after the monetary mentalities they grew up with. If the stresses of money were always at the familial forefront, then children may grow up to have an unhealthy take on money.

But what if money is seen as a means for us to exchange with one another and change the world?

There is a beautiful custom in this holiday season to hand out Chanukah gelt, ‘Hanukkah money,’ to children. The logic is simple, but the psychological implications are profound: Chanukah gelt says that instead of being synonymous with selfishness, corruption, and greed, money is synonymous with light, joy, and miracles.

Here are eight monetary terms that, when redefined, can help us see money as a means for changing, never short-changing, the world into a state of e pluribus unum, where out of the many there becomes one, and where “In God We Trust.”

HARD CASH

It can mean one of two things: 1) cash is hard because it makes us hard; or 2) cash is hard because it is hard to come by. But money is meant to make us soft, to make the world more pliable, to ease burdens rather than increase them. It is much harder for money to make us soft than to make us hard. This ideal is indeed hard to come by. But it is well worth it.

LOOSE CHANGE

Change is what we get back after we make a purchase, the difference between the cost of the item and how much we gave for it. Change is what we get back after we invest in the world; the difference between the item as it was when we found it and the beauty it became after we touched it.

INFLATION RATE

Inflation could be a good thing or a bad thing. If money inflates us, we had best beware; but if money is used to build up others and to build up the world, then it is humbling.

INVEST MEANT

We like quick returns, instant gratification, fast money. It took the Creator six days to create the market that is the world. Why not create it in one day, or one moment? Creation of the lasting sort takes time, investment, and maturation. We should not be deterred if at first we do not see the fruits of our labor. It takes a minute to buy one apple; but it takes a little longer to cultivate an apple orchard. We are in the orchard business.

HIGH INTEREST

When we are not interested in something, we approach it with indifference. By showing interest in money, studying not only how it is but also why it is, we begin to understand the divine purpose behind its creation. Sure, money earns interest. But even more: interest earns us the inner, soulful dimension of money.

GOING BROKE

We can go broke while still remaining whole, just as we can make it rich while still being completely broken. Losing money is not fun, but it is a whole lot better than losing sight of our selves and our purpose. The formula goes like this: the more fixed and wholesome we are in the things that truly matter (soul, purpose, meaning) the less likely it is for us to be broke.

CAPITAL & DIVIDENDS

The fact that we exist means that we have some major capital. We are here because the Creator of the market made an initial investment in us. It is our job to make that investment pay big dividends. The Creator of this global enterprise invests in us because the Creator believes in us. We create an astronomical return on this investment by believing in the Cosmic CEO, in the CEO’s Divine business plan and, of course, by implementing it.

BOTTOM LINE

Everybody makes money: only some make more, some make less. Making money is easy; making a difference is not.

The Creator of the market did not create us to make money. The Creator of the market created us to make a difference.

Money is a bankable way to do that.

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