When it comes to money, in my experience, people tend to have patterns of behaviour that can stay with them for a long time. For example:
• Some people are happy with debt, some people fear debt.
• Some people are frugal, some people spend money flamboyantly.
• Some people are flamboyant with money in some areas but frugal in others.
• Some people are tight, some people are generous.
• Some people will ask for the exact reimbursement for something they fetched for you, others will buy the thing for you.
• Some people devote hours to bargain hunting, some people buy impulsively.
• Some people save, others never do not.
• Some people like the security a bit of money gives one, others don’t need such security.
•Some people have greater money 'needs' than others
I suspect the way we are with money, like many things, has something to do with
A) upbringing (nurture)
B) personality (nature) and
C) life circumstances (C probably the result of A and B).
Money is such a weird thing. As I said before, I think of the flow of money as energy. It's needed to motivate people to do things (in this huge world where we no longer see the person that makes our food to pay them back by fixing their shoes). But nearly everyone appears to be absorbed in the idea that they always need more money...a belief that more is always good. Even those that have immorally large amounts - more than anyone could really need - want more!
It would be very hard to find someone that would actually refuse a windfall and many people often cite money first and foremost as what they would like to have more of. Yet we all know - and regularly confirm to each other with abundant clichés - that more money does not automatically equate to happiness. But all those clichés don’t really appear to stop everyone wanting more. Perhaps we don't ever really convince ourselves that money does not equate to happiness. Perhaps wanting more is the actual belief and the pointing out that it does not automatically bring happiness is the sour grapes.
(N.B. I am not talking here about people living below the breadline. I'd never be so stupid as to speculate more money isn't necessary for their happiness. I am talking about people that have enough money to live comfortably.)
I can, of course, see more money could create more opportunities and more possibilities for someone. And of course more acquisitions (blech - don’t get me started! – too much, too much). But I have yet to see a use of wealth that’s really impressed me!
What would you do if you suddenly found yourself wealthy?
I think we can all usually list a few things we would do and maybe a few acquisitions we might go for but would it really, really make us feel that much better? What are we really attracted to in wealth? Is it security, being able to give more to our offspring, having lots of ‘nice’ things’ or lording superiority over others (showing off - misuse of power). Perhaps it’s actually the freedom to be able to do almost anything. But I sometimes wonder if we have enough imagination to properly use that ‘freedom’. Or indeed if such wild freedom is what we really want.
It’s a bit like when you ask people what they would do if they were told they only had three healthy months to live. I’ve yet to hear an answer that’s blown me away! Is it because we are a little unimaginative painting on blank canvases or is it that we are actually mostly happy with quite ordinary life – the life we’ve already created for ourselves - with lots of things that do cause us happiness already?
Or am I just a deluded hippie spouting off...... again!!! Hippie adds: if she was wealthy, she would use her wealth to help others and inspire positive change. Hippie has lots of cloud cuckoo ideas too.
Anyway what started this vague - longer than I had intended - speculation was a snippet chap read to me from the paper.
Here it is. It really does illustrate the insanity inducing potential of wealth. The striving for wealth (which seems to be in most people's deep conditioning) cripples these lives. It is true madness.............
Some people appear willing to do almost anything for money. Guy Hands, the owner of the private equity company Terra Firma moved to Guernsey last April to avoid UK taxes. Since then, he says, he has "never visited" his wife and children, who still live in his former home in Kent, for fear of compromising his tax status. For the same reason, "I do not visit my parents in the United Kingdom and would not do so except in an emergency."
Hands, according to the Sunday Times rich list, is worth £100m. Were he to allow the Exchequer to reclaim a few of his unnecessary millions, he would face neither ruin nor starvation. He's reported to work 18 hours a day, which means he is unlikely to find much time to enjoy his wealth. It's hard to see how the fraction he has saved through becoming an economic refugee could bring him any discernible benefit, let alone happiness that could compensate for the life he has lost.
Extreme wealth invariably leads to captivity. Its victims live in an open prison. In Mexico and Colombia, they and their families face the constant threat of kidnap: they must scurry around, screened and shrouded, as if they were coppers' narks. In Russia they can never be free from the fear of assassination. Everywhere on earth they live behind walls and razor wire, guarded by cameras, dogs, watch towers and sensors. The walls that shut the world out also shut them in.
They must, if they wish to maintain their place on the rich lists, also live in fear of their rivals. Despite their lobbying power, they cannot permanently shake off the authorities, not least because of the irregular tax and accounting methods that helped many of them to become so rich: the remark attributed to Balzac ("behind every great fortune lies a great crime") is at least half right. Who in his right mind would volunteer for this life?
By George Monbiot, Guardian. 22nd Feb 2010
So one thing is for sure, wealth does not afford you self awareness, a healthy perspective or protection from insanity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!