“I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have pay. Ain’t it sad” – Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus
“Top 15 Things Money Can’t Buy. Time. Happiness. Inner Peace. Integrity. Love. Character. Manners. Health. Respect. Morals. Trust. Patience. Class. Common sense. Dignity.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
‘I need a dollar, a dollar is what I need’; ‘I need to spend a penny’; millionaire’s shortbread; Pound World; Cash Converter emblazoned as a sponsor on a sports shirt etc etc. Everywhere we go it’s all about money, money, money.
Welcome to the latest View From The Pound ……………………. sorry, View From The Ground!
Another subject that bounces around my minds lot – money. There’s the song ‘money makes the world go around’. Well, the blog is really my attempt to challenge this view.
We are obsessed with money. ‘Money’s too tight to mention’ said Mick Hucknell or however you spell his name.
An interesting report from a Oxfam at the start of the year appeared on the BBC news pages: –
‘The gap between the super rich and the rest of the world widened last year as wealth continued to be owned by a small minority, Oxfam has claimed.
Some 82% of money generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population while the poorest half saw no increase at all, the charity said.
Oxfam said its figures – which critics have queried – showed a failing system.
It blamed tax evasion, firms’ influence on policy, erosion of workers’ rights, and cost cutting for the widening gap.
Oxfam has produced similar reports for the past five years. In 2017 it calculated that the world’s eight richest individuals had as much wealth as the poorest half of the world.
This year, it said 42 people now had as much wealth as the poorest half, but it revised last year’s figure to 61. Oxfam said the revision was due to improved data and said the trend of “widening inequality” remained.’
Now, 2 things I realise need to be borne in mind. 1) This is the research from one organisation and, clearly, it is open to challenge; and 2) it was on the BBC news website which, in a previous blog, I have expressed concern about their reporting at times.
But, to have so few controlling so much of this thing we call ‘money’ is frightening.
There is so much talk about world debt. But, in reality, who is the debt to? What is this debt? No, really, what is this debt? Think about it.
We are indebted to which ever God we worship or who ever the source was for this planet that we affectionally call home – Earth. We also owe an apology for the mess, the hatred, the greed, and the poverty that has been created.
Probably straying into areas that greater minds could debate so let me stick to my area of discussion.
‘In for a penny in for a pound’.
Looking through the Oxfam report, it really is quite startling that we have a handful of mega wealthy, controlling the finances of the world – the grip of greed held of governments, corporates, other businesses and individuals alike.
Watch how the mega wealthy control our thinking through fear. Who owns the media outlets and influences the words we read?
Anyway, my concern is more on the level that the majority of us operate in – from my view from the ground.
So many of us complain about not having enough ‘money’, don’t we? Enough money to do what? Eat? If we have food on the table, surely we have enough money? Drink? If we have clean water, surely we have enough money. Of course, if we have tea, coffee, wine, beer etc etc, we have riches! A better house? If we have a roof over our heads and somewhere dry to rest, we must have enough money. And so I could go on.
But, we constantly want more ‘money’. We constantly look at those with more money than us and wish we were that person. But, is the person with more money richer than us? As is asked, what is money. I guess, simplistically, it is what allows us to acquire something which we want. The more money we have, the more, or the better, we can acquire. But does it buy happiness? Does it buy love? Does it buy peace? One thing for sure, money buys greed. With greed, we become self centred and through being self centred, how can someone be happy? If all we think about is ourself, how can we love? And, if we strive for more money, we fear it being taken away and we attack those who pose a threat.
However, if we cherish what we have – every penny / cent; if we use what we have sensibly and for the betterment of ourselves, and others, then this thing called money can be good. And, people are fortunate enough to have sufficient money to eat and drink well, to live well, and to enjoy their own lives, then surely as their cup overflows, monetary wise, sure they can use that to help those who don’t have food, drink, or a roof over their heads? Rather than always looking to the next person who has more money than them and striving for better wealth.
Does that make any sense? I guess, having seen days, over the last couple of years, where money hasn’t been there. Having gone to the money machine, when part way on a taxi journey, to find there wasn’t enough money in the bank account to pay, resulting in a panicked phone call to Ben for help, you realise the power of money.
But, then, as you walk the streets of all city centres these days to see the increasing number of homeless people, you start to see the disproportionate spread of money – or lack of it.
But, ultimately, the richest people are those surrounded by love. And, as the song goes ‘money can’t buy me love’.
So, my commitment, the next time I think ‘I wish I had more money’, to remember just what wealth I have – that is, true wealth. Not the smug, arrogant, glint of an apparent ‘moneyed’ wealth. Keep it. Actually, no, invest it in homes for the homeless; food banks for the hungry; clean water being made available to the thirsty. Then, sit back, and realise the love that you have just shared.
And, there we are. Time to stop the many money moany. Lets be happy with what we have, and don’t let it be the winner takes it all. Better to be a dancing queen or a super trouper!