Nowadays, especially in United States, the inner force moving everyone’s life seems to be money! In a capitalized world, we are told the point of study is to find a decent job, one that allows us to buy all the things we need (or we think we do) and live the life we are supposed to. But how much of this is true? Are we really working for our dreams or working so someone else gets richer?
Money is obviously necessary to live and be part of the world. We need it to buy food, clothes, have a place to live in, travel, socialize and other things. Because of that, money actually contributes to our happiness and sense of emotional well-being. The problem is that people tend to over-estimate the happiness that can come from having more money. When money becomes an end itself, instead of being a means to an end, it becomes destructive. In 1953, when Martin Luther King was organizing in Atlanta, he noticed the dangerous nature of money too. He observed, “Money in its proper place is a worthwhile and necessary instrument for a well-rounded life, but when it is projected to the status of a god it becomes a power that corrupts and an instrument of exploitation.”
Our culture’s laser focus on money can make us forget our priorities and start pledging allegiance to money and the system that prioritizes it: capitalism. Capitalism has been used as a mechanism to keep rich people rich. Through the labor of people fighting to make ends meet wealthy people have built more wealth. Through hundreds of years of slavery, this country found the path to become an economic powerhouse. In 2020, many multinational corporations use low salaries and extended hours of labor as a new way to build fortunes at the expense of their employee’s well-being.
In this month that we are thinking and questioning who we are pledging allegiance to, we should take a moment to ask if we are being honest and consistent with ourselves, especially in our finances. Are we living and working for those things that matter to us and supporting those who are also fighting for the same ideals? Every day is a good day to start being more purposeful in the things that we do and the causes that we support, especially with our pocketbook.