MONEY IS NOT EVERYTHING IN OUR LIVES
A question popped up into my mind as to how much money could change our attitude towards our fellow colleagues besides how much is too much for disturbing the applecart of our relationship with others? Realization downed on me a few days back; proving that there are some people who are comparatively more money-minded than others and that too money is everything for some.
It has rightly been said in Bhagwad Gita: The steadfast with which one holds to duty, pleasures, and wealth, out of attachment and desire for rewards, is determination in the mode of passion.
In one of my known organizations the relationship between the fellow employees was obviously very cordial, cooperative and there was absolutely no difference till the specter of money-mindedness engulfed. In any organization there are permanent and there are temporary employees, of course, reckoned on the basis of their merit and seniority.
Last month, while the question of enhancement in annual increment was being considered, the permanent employees pressed the management for giving them the pending allowances along with the increment dues. They threatened that if their demand was not met, they would be forced to take recourse to take the case to the Court for redressal of their grievances.
The concerned organization bowed before their threats, made all their payments due to them along with the pending dues thus emptying the reserve funds available with the organisation. It may be termed as highhandedness but they got every penny of theirs.
But alas! In doing so, the temporary employees could not get their monthly payment due to the shortage of funds! They had to fend for themselves. These employees had no bargaining power since by doing so, they could lose their jobs; the sword of termination of their services was hanging on their heads if they raised their voice since because of their terms and conditions hence they had to keep silent and suffer because of the attitude of their ‘permanent’ colleagues in emptying the office off the entire funds. In some cases, the temporary staff had to take loans at an exorbitant rate of interest for meeting their financial stringency.
This case prompted me to pen down the attitude of money-mindedness of some employees who had developed unbending attitude towads their fellow employees. I shall not blame the management since the financial position of the organization was well known to us all. This episode also brings out the parasitic attitude of one set of employees vis-a-vis hapless employees. What a travesty of fact, how can some colleagues, working under similar environment and with same standard of procedures could be so different when it comes to money. Even the temporary employees would be getting their salaries after sometimes but the artificial chasm between the employees would not be bridged so soon.
There are umpteenth cases which we come across of the offspring killing their parents for getting their share of property as though money and the material possessions is the only reason they aspire for. The lust for money has taken away every shred of civility which we possess. This is the consequence of money-mindedness.
In Holy Quran it has rightly been said: O you who have believed, do not consume one anothers wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent.
The above episode show how inconsiderate some of us could become for fulfilling their greed for more money. Such people just forget that we had not brought anything when we were born and will not be taking anything while we depart this beautiful earth. Such people should always remember the pearl of wisdom enunciated in Bhagwad Gita:
What did you bring that you have lost?
What did you create that was destroyed?
What you have taken, has been given here?
What you gave, has been given here?
What belongs to you today, belonged to some
one else yesterday?
Change is the law of universe.
We are aware, money is important to meet demand and supply of goods and services which every individual requires and every country requires as a medium of exchange of goods and services. When money as a recognized medium of exchange was not there, barter system existed – exchange of goods for goods etc. but was there so much of greed for money as is existing presently? I have my doubts.
NEED MONEY TO MEET OUR DAILY NEEDS
We need money to satisfy our needs on day to day basis. Some of these needs are necessary but there are the ones which we have increased intentionally partly to showcase our status, position and partly for comparing with others in the society. The comparison effect takes a dangerous proportions, when we do not have legitimate means to have the money, we adopt corrupt practices, a path which is littered with uncertainties and unexpected pitfalls leading to uncalled for difficulties.
TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE MONEY WISE
It has been observed that there are parents who do not teach their children the importance of thrift or carefulness when it comes to money mindedness. Realization dawns on the parents when they come to know the resultant effect of their throwing away money at their children just to please them – an effort to buy momentary peace for them. But the ‘momentary peace’ efforts which the parents wanted in their children’s childhood period have taken a turn for worst. Spending money dis-proportionally has become a habit for their grown up offspring – since the children who are placated only by throwing money grow up to be bad characters. It is similar to spending money on a old vehicle which is beyond repairs!
For this we should follow wisdom given in Bible: He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous shall flourish as the green leaf.
MONEY IS NOT THE PANACEA FOR SOLVING ALL OUR PROBLEMS
There are problems wherein money will not alleviate or assuage a problem rather it will accentuate and multiply it. Infusing more money indiscriminately on a project rather needing deft handling will produce a confusing situation – which could be construed as problem of abundance in money term.
Then there are the people who consume more because of their propensity to purchase but suffer physically because of impairment of digestive system or excessive eating may disturb the echo-system of our body.
RELATIONSHIP AND MONEY
There are people who give more credence to money than their relations with others. I have seen families breaking up due to money and worldly possessions. One family member wants more than other thereby leading to acrimony and bad blood. There are court cases too which remain operative till years together; resulting in wastage of money. I have also seen elders of the family being killed for the sake of money or real brothers and sister being at daggers drawn with no love for each other. That is the ill-effects of money when it becomes be all and end all. Money should help develop a strong bond between family members rather than create a wedge between them. For instance, there are the members in the family who are not able to earn because of their old-age or due to other factors, should be looked after monetarily and otherwise by the able-bodied earning members. By so doing, the bond of family will integrate rather than disintegrating. Medium of money should cement relationship rather than make it fall to pieces. We should rather meet the needs of others who are in dire need of money.
On this aspect Guru Granth’s Sahib’s wisdom is very relevant: Guru Ji put a lot of stress on doing KIRAT, that is, an honest day’s work, part of the Sikh foundation – Naam Japo, kirat karo and Wand Shako.
HAPPINESS CANNOT BE PURCHASED WITH MONEY
Those who think that money could buy everything are living in fools paradise. With money we can buy and meet our daily requirements but not happiness. Happiness is the result of contentment/satiety and peace of mind which is garnered when we minimize our needs by living a simple life besides taking care that we do not overshoot our expenditure beyond our legitimate earnings.
STOP JUDGING OTHERS ON THE BASIS OF THEIR MONEY
It is a travesty of fact that people judge others on the basis of their money power and muscle power – because those who have money power can buy for themselves muscle power to defend their right or wrong rights which is unethical and immoral way of living.
UTILISE OUR MONEY FOR GOOD PURPOSES
Money we have earned by honest means should be utilized partly for meeting our necessary requirements and partly for meeting the dire needs of our brethren in need. This is other way of serving humanity and serving the purpose of life here on this planet.
SPENDING MORE TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY IS BETTER THAN SPENDING MORE MONEY ON YOUR FAMILY
If we want to make our family pleased, it is good to spend more time with our families, understand their emotions, their needs and aspiration, love them and be loved rather than spending more money for them to appease them in way or other while whiling away your time with somebody else. I know a person who meets all the monetary requirements of his family but often comes late after midnight fully drunk. This makes the entire family very dismayed and miserable resulting in quarrels and misunderstanding. What is the use of this money, anybody can fathom?
Some of wisdom should be kept in mind:-
- Money matters but too much of money becomes a liability.
- Power and pelf bought with money becomes useless after sometimes.
- Money when shared with others brings about peace of mind to the giver.
- Money is essential to meet our daily needs, it gives us satiety and happiness when it is earned with our sincere efforts.
- The lesser the needs the lesser the requirement of money – lesser would be the hassles in our lives.
- Giving money from our sincere earnings gives us more satisfaction than taking.
- When we have to choose between money and relation, we should always choose relation.
- Money should become a cementing factor not a disintegrating one.
- Stay cool when money is lost, it would be earned and replaced but if you lose your cool, it will impair your system irreparably.
- Pray to Almighty God for good health and wellness rather than worldly possessions. With good health worldly possessions could be purchased.
- Following a spiritual oriented lifestyle with no attachment to the fruits of our Karma leads to a happy and contented life.
- Money is something only but not everything.