Saturday, January 18, 2014

Being "better than"!

Most bankrupt Americans share a unique perspective regarding money.  If you become bankrupt, it usually means that you had something and then you didn't.  When I say that it is unique it is because you live and experience two ends of the spectrum associated with money!

We fight and battle to get more money!  We fear losing the money that we have and we fear having our money run out.  We give up so many things, like time, in pursuit of acquiring more money. When you become bankrupt, you generally have lost your money, somehow, someway.  Everyone is different and it is not fair to group all bankrupt people in one category.  I have no intention of minimizing nor maximizing any bankrupt person's situation. However, in general, bankrupt people had some money and now they don't.

So the question becomes, why are we always pursuing more money? We need money for our basic needs but most people pursue much more money than they need for their basic needs.  So what could the importance be of trying everything to accumulate more?  I have some ideas.

First of all, I think we live in a "better than" society whereby we try to do everything in our power to be better than or to be thought of as better than others.  This is a huge problem in human relationships because this mentality creates a process of separation.  When we start separating ourselves from others, we are living in a judgemental of other state and judgement is the opposite of love.  Love is the answer to every human situation that causes suffering so if we try so hard to separate ourselves from others, we are turning our backs on love. The premise that if you are able to purchase a larger, more expensive home, a more comfortable automobile, name brand clothing and accessories, a more expensively bought education and/or anything else that inflates one's ego, makes you a better, smarter, happier person, is just insane!  But that seems to be the goal of so many people and an accumulation of more money is the only way that can happen.

Many people say that they want enough money so that they can be comfortable.  What does that mean exactly?  Look at all the people, who on a daily basis, become bankrupt.  What does that tell anyone?  It should tell them that money is something that can be accumulated and lost.  Money is not something that can be promised to stay the same.  So how can money make you comfortable?  What is comfort?  Do people seriously think that they know how much money will make them feel comfortable?  Is it possible that comfort is a state of being and not a state of having?

For the bankrupt person, we generally no longer seek "better than" because to our circle of influence we have reached the place that no one wants to be...rock bottom.  Filing bankruptcy give us a new lease on our financial life but we also have a new lease on how we think of money.  At this point we can be truly free by not allowing the accumulation of money fill up our lives and not identify ourselves by it or we can go back to the same pattern and let the amount of money we have or make determine who we are.  I choose freedom!