Three reasons why money was the worst invention of all time

Who invented money? Ask any number of people and they won’t be able to tell you who actually invented money or where the idea came from. History has given us some bad ideas, but money has to be the worst and these are my top three reasons.

  1. Something invented by man should have no power over him.

    If I think hard and try to imagine a time without money, before it was invented and used on a daily basis, I tend to imagine that the world was a completely different place. People most likely had a barter type society where goods and services were exchanged and that is how one survived. If I had a particular ability, say hunting, and you were hungry, you could come to me for food. The idea would be that if you could make the fire and I could provide the food, then we could exchange our abilities or skills and everyone would get what they want. I’m assuming, for the sake of argument, that if someone possessed absolutely no abilities, that person was still allowed to eat. I can’t imagine that he would lend some meat to the helpless soul, only if he could somehow repay it. Before the helpless soul could blink, he may owe me five dinners and then have to send collection agents to claim his debts. Money provides control, both in a positive and negative control. Although it is man-made, and is essentially just a piece of paper or a mix of cheap metals, money has power and is power. I imagine Mr. Helpless Soul explaining to his wife that he can’t pay the hunter and that he doesn’t know what to do. So, Mr. Hunter decides to enslave the Helpless Soul family until the debt is paid. It is unfathomable to me that so many people in my country and in the world go hungry every day. Those who have the money have the power to deny the needs of those who have no means. Where have the humanitarians gone? I’ve seen a business owner kick out a homeless and starving person, and then a half hour later deal with a complaining customer as he yelled that his food wasn’t hot enough. Money only has the power that we give it. If we choose to see it as just a means to an end, or just a silly piece of paper that we’ve been told to obey all our lives, then one can focus on what really matters. I am not advocating not paying debts or ditching responsibilities. This is the world we live in, and the rules must be followed…until the laws change again to suit what the politicians want on any particular whim of a day.

  2. Money shifts the focus from helping each other to the arbitrary “value” of mere things.

    Why should you do something to help someone else unless they can pay for it? If my whole focus in life is to get material things, then I should only be motivated by money, or to get it, to do anything. What is really worth it? Marketing companies have defined value for me since I was a kid, instilling it in me during GI Joe commercial breaks. What is the value of all the things you want compared to something that really matters? Imagine the value of spending another hour with a loved one before they pass away and are gone forever. The value of teaching your children that there is more to life than money and getting things. The value of feeding a homeless man and helping him get at least one night’s sleep where his stomach won’t keep him awake. The courage to lend a hand and help someone else in this world is worth more than the largest diamond, the heaviest gold and the purest oil. Now, I’m the biggest hypocrite on this subject, because I love the stuff! It’s been programmed into me for so long, it’s hard to get rid of the desire to get things. Imagine a life where people help each other because it’s the right thing to do and not just because of what they can get in return. The argument is, well, things can’t just be free. You have to pay something to get something. How would the world work if everyone was giving everything away for free and everyone had everything they need and no longer had to be a slave to credit card companies or a job they don’t like? How would we survive? My answer to those questions is, famously! I would be free to learn a trade that benefits others and I could use that skill to support my family and help others. I have wanted to help by donating or giving all my life, but I never had the means. I’ve donated a little time here and there, and not as much as I should or would have liked, but at least it was something. But since I like things, and those things have cost me money, I have to continue in my job, and repeat the same cycle that my father did.

  3. Money makes you important if people really care about you, or just your money.

    I try to visualize the end of my life surrounded by those who have made my journey with me, who love me and care about the enrichment I brought them through my friendship and dedication. In my later years, enjoying my days with my wife and talking to my older children and grandchildren. I want to absorb every minute of my life between here and there. I want to feel and love and enjoy all that there is to offer. I have seen families torn apart, fighting over the money left over after the death of a loved one. Some of those grudges are carried for the rest of their lives. They lose a relationship and also a loved one, and the only thing they can think about is how much money they will get. Chances are, Mr. Right, as we’ll call him, doesn’t even miss the loved one who was lost. How many brilliant individuals never get a chance to succeed because of lack of means, and how many elites get free passes because their pile of papers is bigger than yours. Do the people closest to you care about you or your money? Does the bride only love you for what you can buy her? Do your children only listen to you to get something they want? Take away the money, and they would abandon you? What a great idea, this money.

My answer to all of this is that I don’t have an answer. My two year old daughter asked me about money and she loves putting money in her piggy bank. She made me start to consider all the reasons I worry about money, fight about money, and read books about money. Nothing like the honesty of a child, to make you sit up and think.

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