Money and the Art of War

This morning I received a check for $180 for doing some part-time work outside my profession. While it felt crisp in my hands, I began to drift off imagining how it could be spent and how happy I would be to possess something “new”. Before I finished texting wife, I was told how I’d be spending it. Normally that isn’t such a bad idea, since I make rash decisions and need reining in from time to time.

Social psychologists say that money is often at the heart of disagreements. The acquisition of wealth and how to use it has led from domination to abomination over the last 10,000 years. Needless to say, I don’t believe many people want less; however, I guess I feel like I should want less. Listening to a podcast about Lord of the Rings, I discovered that Tolkien fifty years ago was disenfranchised with the notion that people often are glamoured by the idea of getting a shiny bauble. As long as it’s new.

How times haven’t really changed. Everyone always complains about the kids today. It is as if the older we get, the greater the disdain for the younger generation becomes. Someone said in a meeting today that kids think cell phones are a God-given right. Perish the thought of silencing them during class! I remember being told that video games were going to ruin our minds; I still hear THAT rhetoric. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!

Getting back to money, though; it’s not like I overspend every month and get us in financial straits; I don’t feel like I buy a lot of “things”. It seems that I buy more and more services. For example, Netflix and SiriusXM costs us monthly; do I really need those? Luckily, I just shaved $50 per month off our internet and phone lines. Does that mean we can buy more stuff? No, sadly, I think it means that it dissolves into the greater stash of money we use every month. As our pastor asks when he’s trying to collect tithes, “Is there too much month at the end of your paycheck?”

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