Is it OK to earn a decent amount of money?

I had an email from a listener this week all about money, power and an energetic conversation that she had with her father.

“Just had an intense discussion with my dad, he firmly believes that no one should have ‘too much’ money and that anyone who has a lot of money has acquired it in ‘bad’ ways.” 

The first concept to consider is how much is too much? In theory if you are warm clothed and fed you could say that you have all that you need. If you then want a television, the internet, a car and maybe a holiday then you will, by definition have more than someone who cannot afford any of these things. 

T. Harv Eker in his Millionaire Mind Book and courses talks about a money blueprint that is set when we are young and then, unless we adapt it, will play out through our lives. Those that have a rich template will create wealth while those that have a poor template will not. There is lots of evidence that shows when people get a lot of wealth through something like the lottery they will spend, spend, spend until it reduces to an amount that they feel comfortable with. This is when it matches their money blueprint.

It is true that if you gain a lot of money you can gain a lot of power. An engineer defines power as ‘the ability to do work’. The power rating on a motor is telling you how much work that motor can do in an hour. The power that money give us is the ability to do something.

With the power of money we can influence the people, even those at the ‘top’ and create real change in the world. This may be through charity or through educating people on love, kindness and logical ways of thinking and behaving. Many people would say that this is naive to think that it is impossible. “Be realistic” they say. I disagree with this version of “realistic”. I think that money is a magnify glass and makes you more of who you are. If you are a good person money allows you to be more of a good person and if you are a bad person money allows to do more bad things.

Attitudes to money, power and wealth are the ongoing disagreements between true communism, – the left wing – where we are all equal and true capitalism – the right wing – that is full of the haves and have nots. In the argument is between capitalism and  communism. People have tried to answer this problem in many ways. 

Religion has a view. In Islam it is considered wrong to go to bed with a full belly if the people next door go to bed hungry. In Christianity it remains the belief that we should all give 10% of our net income to charities and the poor.  In psychology we can measure the positive effects of giving to charity or committing charitable acts. Being kind to others not only makes us feel better but it also strengthens our immune system.

It is important to note that the finance houses in Europe and USA, including all the long standing household names, founded their wealth mainly on the opium and the slave trades. It is little realised that the one industry that they tried to privatise, along with everything else, was sugar that was and is still highly profitable, but built on plantations and the slave trade.

Because of this association with exploitation both abroad and in Britain people often see money as dirty. As the mill and the mine owners created their wealth by working people hard for little reward we developed unions, worker’s rites and employment law. Something that we may begin to give away with Brexit.

Alongside established business were and are the bad lads such as protection rackets, bad small business practices, and lying politicians. How easily the stage has been set to associate both power and money to bad practice.

The work of the Gates Foundation and the fortune that had been poured into medical research and the myriad charities sponsored by and supported by ‘rich’ people would suggest that money can be both a good and a useful resource. It is not what you have it is how you use it that counts.

In the end the issues is that if you live in a capitalist society people will act in capitalistic ways which are to make as much as you can, keep it all for yourself and don’t share it. If you live in a truly communist society, and there has never been one of these to my knowledge, then the question would be ‘what can I do for you and how can I help?’  

The question, is it wrong to be well off is relative. I work hard, harder than most, I seldom work less than sixty hours in a week. I also earn more then most though I would not describe myself as rich in any way, other than the wealth of positive emotion in my family. Does that make me a bad person? 

We all have the same choice, do we use our time to create wealth or to spend all that we can, even if it is really other people’s. I asked the question a few blogs ago, ‘Why do benefit claimants not work for their money and give back to the community that supports them?’ In an equal society we would all support each other as best we can and would also all contribute. For some that might mean paying taxes while for others it might mean helping out in social enterprises. I come back to my usual phrase…

If we all look after each other then we will all be okay

It is never the money that makes us bad, it is the love of money that makes us bad. As someone once said…

We need to love people and use money, not the other way around.

We can all be charitable. Those that have money can share it. Though even if you have no money to spare you can share your time and your love.

Take care and be happy

Sean x