Money is Only a Symbol.
The third component of the critical three, one of our major sources of difficulty, is money.
In all communication with your child, you should link the idea, and it should be from the beginning, that money is not the root of evil, nor is the love of money.
Let’s be clear about that idea because to love anything or anyone is to adore, admire and value the object of a person’s mindset. We know what the Bible and other sources of guidance say about evil caused by the love of money: I want to be very careful when I state that there may be apparent contradictions in the Bible, but there are none.
The fact is, contradictions do not exist, period. When it comes to apparent contradictions anyplace, and especially in the Bible, there are two primary causes: first is the result of transliterations of the translator. The second is a matter of figurative versus absolute meaning of words or phrases. Nevertheless, that entire discussion is beyond the scope of this guide.
Let’s return to our discussion of money as a parent’s mindset. The phrase “The love of money is the root of all evil,” came from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves, and by conquest.
Before the existence of America, men praised their leaders as aristocrats of the sword, and aristocrats of birth: they despised the actual producers because they were “lowly” slaves, or traders and shopkeepers. America was the first nation to reverse that thinking, that’s why our nation became the world’s leader in practically everything.
The fact is (we said it before, and you will hear it again), to love a thing is to know and cherish its nature; there is no exception. We should assure our little “Bundle of Joy” that loving or wanting money is not terribly important, because money is made possible only by those who produce goods and/or services. It is the material shape of the principle that men who deal with one another must do it by trade and give value for value.
The most important aspect of money is its source: production. We should assure our little “Bundle of Joy” that money is simply a tool of exchange. It cannot exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. When we accept money in payment for our effort, we do so only on the conviction that we will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. Money, the dollars and cents in our pockets and purses, is a token of honor, our claim upon the energy of the people who produce material ideas in the form of goods and services. We should continually attempt to engrain the above in the mind of our little “Bundle of Joy.”
Next, to understand the nature of money and place it in its proper domain, we should teach our Little One, that for today’s needs, there are only two aspects of money that count. First, only eighty percent of all we receive is more than adequate to allow us to live happily and enjoy the marvelous fruits that life has to offer. The remaining twenty percent should be invested: we should share half of that twenty percent with an entity other than our family: that’s right, give it away!
Give it to a needy neighbor, a church, a charity, any worthy cause. Another name for sharing the wealth is “tithing.” It nails down the fact that money is not the end-all of exchange. It is the symbol of wealth, but only a symbol. In and of itself, it has no meaning and no value; it is simply the name and meaning of worthy production. The remaining ten percent should be invested in anticipation of our future growth. An example would be to save or pay for education, buy stocks (ownership in a concern), and/or bonds (a loan toward any deserving venture that promises growth), etc.
Second, and possibly the most important is teach him that an honest man is one who knows he cannot continually consume more than he has produced. In addition, teach him the value of character, compassion, honesty, honor, humor, kindness, respect, etc.
More importantly, continually mold the idea and unmistakable fact that money will not purchase happiness for anybody who has no concept of what he wants. It will not give him a code of value if he has no idea of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose if he has evaded the choice of what to seek.
Money, albeit a powerful commodity, simply represents the power within us to produce valuable worldly goods that can be exchanged for the worldly goods of others. What that means to you, the parent, is that each of us is able, in some manner, to produce better than average results.
Whatever that ability is, you should share it with your Little One, and incessantly emphasize the idea that she must continually seek to be the best she can be. That means she should consistently seek to produce the best that is within her and seek to become ever better. In addition, teach her to never, ever accept mediocrity.
Just as a brief aside: I painfully, remember the first and only time I ran a cross-country race; I was in the army. The race began and ended in a stadium. When we were near the end and came back into the stadium, I still had reserve, and I felt that I could have overcome the third runner in the race. All I had to do was push forward, but I said to myself that fourth was good enough. That is a painful memory to this day; not because I failed to complete the race at number one (or in this instance #3), but because I failed to put forth the best that was within me.
Teach your child(ren) that “good enough” is only good enough when he has put forth the best he has to offer, and even then he should seek to become better. You might ask why this is important… the answer is, this is the embryo of passion, and passion is one of the mainstays of joyful success.
This entire section about money lacked the fun and gaiety we are accustomed to enjoying. Just because the concept of money is a serious matter is no reason not to have fun with it. We can do better, and truly enjoy a few key features of the power of money by accessing
“Money is a Symbol (Archives: Tuesday)”