I spend a lot of time reflecting. On life. Love. Ego. God. Relationships with other people. Fears. And recently, I’ve been reflecting on money – on my attitude to and relationship with money – just as I reflect on other seemingly more spiritual aspects of life. Is money to be spent? Given away? Shared? Hoarded? How much time should I spend trying to gain money?
I’ve read a couple of really interesting books about money recently. Not of the “how to save £££s” on your domestic bills variety nor of the “how to make £££s investing in stocks and shares” variety either.
I’ve written about both of these books already. In All the Money in the World, Laura Vanderkam wrote about how best to use our money in order to live the happiest life possible. The Moneyless Man, Mark Boyle goes off and lives without money – initially for a year, but I think he carried on at the end of the year.
I would like to use my money wisely, so that I really am living as happy a life as possible, but I wouldn’t fancy living without money. Not even for a week, let alone for a month. However, I do find Mark’s book very inspiring.
One of my favourite bits is where Mark quotes John Lame Deer, a Sioux Indian, about how he felt about being made to use money – and hence being “civilised” by white men:
Before our white brothers came to civilise us we had no jails. Therefore we had no criminals. You can’t have criminals without a jail. We had no locks or keys and so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him those things. We were too uncivilised to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money and therefore a man’s wealth couldn’t be measured by it. We had no written law, no attorney or politicians, therefore we couldn’t cheat. We were in a really bad way before the white man came and I don’t know how we managed to get along without the basic things which we are told, are absolutely necessary to make a civilised society.
Inspiring stuff. Something to reflect on in my daily silent time tomorrow. Though I feel rather hypocritical quoting these words on my blog not long after spending a small fortune on clothes in John Lewis.