Growing up, I can certainly say that I was taught the value of money. Money is great when you have it and not so great when you don’t. When I was young I was taught the oft quoted verse in the Bible which says “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”.
Money has been called the “root of all evil” but I don’t really think that’s true at all. When I graduated high school, I immediately hit the pavement and looked for a job. At first I got in with a pizza parlor but because I had a disagreement with my boss, I left and worked at a gas station instead. Was it ideal? No. Was I able to start saving quite a bit of cash? Yes. For me, money is a proper motivation to work hard. When I had saved up quite a bit of cash, did I go out and spend it? No. I used it to go to the Philippines and help people over there be fed, cared for and get on the road to becoming self reliant. So, money isn’t the root of all evil, but love of money and the excess thereof can be.
It is true that too little money is bad for you because if you are lacking in food, shelter, or adequate medical care, that shortens your life expectancy. But too much is bad as well. Ingrid Case said on interest.com that “despite their good manners, a deeper look into these people’s lives suggests that, for them, money is a little like junk food. It tastes great, but it hasn’t made them happier or healthier” when talking about a bunch of the people she came in contact with during a recent project of hers.
She explains that she observed that whenever those people came into a problem in their lives, they threw money at it. Not doing well in school? Drop out and buy a condo in the Florida Keys. Not enjoying your current girlfriend? Break up and buy the affections of another.
In the media, we can clearly see that even with all the money in the world, happiness doesn’t just naturally come. The late Robin Williams for example took his own life three years ago after a long battle with depression. He had a net worth of $50 million! Kurt Cobain, the late singer of band Nirvana also took his own life in 1994 and had a net worth of a whopping $100 million!
In the words of the immortal Professor Severus Snape “Clearly fame isn’t everything”.
courtesy of wikipedia
Let us explore a few celebrities and some of their spending habits that may just make you want to scream. Actor Tom cruise once bought his ex-wife her own private jet for $20 million. Heiress Paris Hilton once did a crazy two hour shopping spree which ended up costing (for her) a measly $100,000. With spending like that, it definitely causes us to step back and wonder what exactly they’re compensating for.
We have some ridiculous things that people no doubt buy like a $25,000 “Frrrozen Haute Chocolate” that is actually made with real 24 carat gold!
When listening to the radio recently, I learned that this year’s Oscar Grab Bags are worth upwards of $300,000. Now these bags are given out every year at the Oscars and are given to every celebrity in attendance. They’re all free to add on that! In last year’s bags, one of the smaller items was a $300 personalized bag of M&M’s. One of the more expensive items was a $54,000 private walking tour of Japan and a $55,000 trip to Israel. What do you get a man who can buy anything? Just about anything that a normal person couldn’t afford in their lifetime.
The bizarre thing is that money only has worth because we say it does. Fame and fortune can’t buy happiness, it can only really show the best and the worst in us. Money isn’t evil, it’s only a problem when that is all we think about and all we surround ourselves with.
Featured Image Courtesy of Sacha Waldman Photography