purpose of money

The purpose of money

Making money for yourself, for a family, for a community, for a business or for a nation is, in this day and age, in the absence of an alternative agreed bargaining process, the lubricant of our daily lives. It is not, however, the purpose for life, though it has sadly morphed into that for many individuals and organisations. It doesn’t make us happier, though it buys us more; it doesn’t make our lives more worthwhile, though it is prized highly by many. It is common between us, but it is not what is common about us. It is something we share, but it is not something that inspires sharing. We need it, want it and many work hard to acquire it – from richest to poorest. It gives us food, clothing and shelter (in varying standards). It is perceived to have tangible value all over the planet, where people trade. ‘Rich’ countries measure their worth by how much they have, ‘poor’ countries are judged by their inability to make it, preserve it or build it. When their economy is buoyant, people praise political leaders. When an economy has the economic jitters, introspection is rife. Money has been with us for a very long time and it is hard to imagine that it will disappear as something we focus on or use as a species.

Notwithstanding its importance, the making of or acquiring of money never has been and never will be a purpose in and of itself. It might help achieve a grander purpose, it might let some people measure the effectiveness of a purpose, but it does not act as a guiding light, except for some (deceptively) and for relatively short periods of time.

Real purpose talks to our higher sense of self, to our own and shared desire to do something worthwhile.


The purpose of money is an excerpt from One World AtLast pp. 193-4.


Image courtesy of Gualberto107 / www.freedigitalphotos.net

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