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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Money-Friend or Foe?

By Kevin King

Is money a friend or a foe? I dare say neither. Money just is. It is a medium of exchange (nothing more and nothing less) that our society has elevated into a determination of status.

Much of western civilization has determined that the size of one's bank account determines the value of that person. You hear much to the contrary, but as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

Next Thursday, we in the United States usher in the start of the holiday season with our celebration of Thanksgiving. The next 30 - 45 days will be filled with good cheer and best wishes and thoughts of "Peace on Earth" and "Good Will to Men". Charities find the next 6 weeks to historically be their best season in receiving monetary donations. The homeless are given shelter as churches and synagogues seek special donations for Christmas and Chanukah gifts for children. Everyone of every faith prays for peace and understanding.

But what happens the other 46 weeks of the year? Oh, sure, the charities and foundations are still there. But how do we as a society treat them and those with less or no money? How do we as a society treat those with less status?

According to the most recent statistics I have seen, the numbers of people without any health care coverage in the United States are approaching 46 million. Why? Unemployment in the United States is officially over 6%. But what is the real figure? Millions have been out of work so long, the government doesn't even count them anymore. If one has become so discouraged in not being able to find employment and so he/she gives up for a while, that person isn't counted anymore as being in the workforce. I have seen estimates that put the actual unemployment figure at close to 10%.

And this doesn't apply to the United States alone. Different countries, different societies have different ways of handling this. But, as a general rule, Western civilization has determined money to be a determinative of one's value.

And, this is not good. Yet, contrary to where you might think I am going, money is not evil. Money is good. Some think the Bible states that money is the root of all evil. It does not say that - anywhere. The Bible does say, "the love of money is the root of all evil".

And the Bible does not refer just to "money" when it calls the "love of money" the root of all evil. "Money" serves, here, as a euphemism for material goods, selfishness, even thoughts and ideas.

When material items, such as money, and thoughts and ideas become more important than the person and people in general, we are entering upon evil. In the movie "Wall Street", Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, states in one scene that "Greed is good".

Gordon Gekko was wrong. Greed is evil. I am not a linguist, but I dare say that the statement in the Bible that "The love of money is the root of all evil" would be better translated as "Greed is the root of all evil".

The "love of money" being the root of all evil, and hence taken by many people as money, itself, being the root of all evil has caused many of us to have deep seated thoughts of hostility towards and fear of money and financial riches. Nothing can be further from the truth, and this underlying hostility towards money has probably caused untold heartaches and poverty and hopelessness in our world.

If you are having difficulties in achieving your financial and material goals, your attitude towards money may be what is holding you back.

Ask yourself these questions:

What does money mean to me?

What are my core beliefs about money?

What did I learn as a child about money?

What do I think it really takes to earn and acquire financial abundance?

Ask yourself these questions and ponder your answers. Do you have answers such as the following?

 Money doesn't grow on trees.

 We can't afford it.

 God loves the poor.

 I just need enough to live.

Or do your answers resemble these?
With enough money, I can give a good education to my children.
Money enables me to travel and enjoy God's creation.
Money relieves the stress from day to day living.
With money, I can help all those who are less fortunate.

If you find that your beliefs about money are holding you back from achieving and empowering your dreams, then you need to change your beliefs immediately.

Money is not the problem. As with many things in our lives, it is our attitude that is the problem.

© Copyright 2003. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: J. Kevin King, J.D. is a Personal Life and Business Coach, and the Founder and CEO of The Empowerment System Network, which publishes the very unique weekly Success & Motivational ezine Empower Your Dream. Kevin has over 30 years experience in business and personal coaching. []



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