Dirty money

Lets face it. Eventually everything boils down to money. EVERYTHING. Yes! there are so many arguments against it, but lets remove money/earning power from the picture. We would all be living like animals, fending for food and needs on a daily basis, without plans and motives and dreams. Money makes it all happen, doesn’t it?

But like everything good, this dirty old man comes loaded with trouble; trouble to make more and more, trouble that you will never know how much is enough, trouble that you may never want to part with it for anything or anyone. There is a scrooge in all of us, may be not in the evident misanthrope way; but we all have troubles parting with the moolah we made from sweat and blood. We make exceptions, but that is again selfishness that acts; is it for a close kin? Is it someone dear who needs it? Should I be lending money to friends and risking the feel-good friendship? There are so many orphans in the world, I can’t really do much now, can i? Ya, so I pass by homeless people everyday, I can’t give my money to some stranger? Do i get tax benefits when I donate to this organisation?

I am no Samaritan. I am smitten by almost all of it too. I was simply making a statement and was wondering where it is all headed? And then I threw my hands up and wondered; pestilence, war, stock markets and greed have always been there. And Samaritans too in each of those eras. And when you take a step back and decide; ‘Ok I dont really need that new diamond set simply to boost my ego. I will give away that money to someone in need of it’ you are judged by the world for not being a family care-taker. To be always a good Samaritan, you must have no familial bounds. And if you simply care only for the family or yourself, you are a scrooge in the making. So how does one strike a balance? When can one say I have stored enough for a rainy day, I can share and part with the rest for the needy? And if all of us wait to be Bill Gates to get there, we can forget about playing the part of Samaritans in our life-times.

That brings us back to the very definition of money; sitting dirty, waiting to be touched, wanting to be parted in barter for worth, pride and inflating ego. And giving it away without returns is a gamble in itself, for you cannot be foolish to wait for a Samaritan to help you when you realize you can’t fend for yourself, for you were busy playing Samaritan!! A terrible irony in itself? Isn’t it?

Here is a piggy bank plan I had learnt from a friend when I was twelve – She would never spend on the sippups or candy everyday like most of us, but indulge once in a while when she really lets greed take over. No surprises, for the very same reason, we all thought she was weird. Instead she used to save the coins on days she didnt feel the need to give into greed. She said, she saved it for a rainy day. I dont know how she used it, but I do remember her piggy bank was heavy by the time we were fourteen, while most of us had proudly escalated to treating ourselves at the bakery already.

Imagine everytime you crave an indulgence that’s not at all necessary, and you ask yourself, if you really want it? If you can proudly happily say No to that, why not save it for a rainy day or someone’s rainy day, in a separate piggy bank that grows untouched? But, I bet it takes more than just determination to get there; for it involves fighting urges to ego boosting, peer-pressures and letting sound judgment and want to help take over. That in itself may take a life time for many, I am sure! Someday, I hope I can get there as a natural act, without doubting if it is infact perdition and misanthropist like. Someday, I am sure, one must rinse oneself of money, for money after all is always dirty!!



5 thoughts on “Dirty money

  1. Why suddenly such a serious topic?

    Well,i think we need money to live no doubt but the greed part? As you put it , there is no limit for how much money you need to make.

    A home,a land,kids savings,medical emergency? We save for the future far than living for the current.

    I used to be asked many times why i stuck my first employer even though i was paid less than BIGGY mncs. I felt and still always there will be ppl who earn above/below us and whats the point to raise the bar and match peers than matching our needs.

    reflective post!!!

    • Divya says:

      Many things added up to the post. Its been brewing in my mind for a while now. thats why the outburst probably. someone told me over gtalk that i sound rude in the post. wonder if you thought the same? My point was as you say totally ruminating and not harping .

  2. Anu says:

    Ohhh Twitter didn’t hav enuf space for my comment…
    First happy children’s day. I’m not a Nehru fan but I love that they dedicated a day when all the teachers dance to our tunes 🙂
    coming back to the topic – they say charity begins at home but I’ve noticed that family(read extended family) tend to expect thing from you and so no matter what you do it’s still expected of you… There’s no thanks or good wishes…
    Then comes the charity outside – I despise people who come home with a paper and ask for donations … I’d rather donate in person and mak sure the money actually feeds the hungry… N there’s also the type of charity where you set your self goals and work towards achieving it… In both the org I worked I took up NGO activities but I always needed to entice others to join in. The only way this could happen was when u lured them with appraisals based on selfless activity(what hav you given to the society) for 2.RSIrs in hyd I used to drive almost every saturday n Sunday n teach HTML and English in givt schools… It gave me such pleasure to see my students operate computers n get jobs or pass on to the next class… It gave me the best feeling ever… But since then which is 2 yrs now I’ve done zero… I think a thousand times before I give 5 bucks to a homeless person trying to judge if he/she deserves it(tho I know I’m none to judge)

  3. Anu menon says:

    pls dont mind my persistence in commenting….
    im jus trying to share my 2 cents on charity and money…
    I’ve been on the dependent/unemployed track for 8 months now and it officially sucks! Though lifes good and i dont have to do anything and I get all that i need/want, there are times I ask myself if i need more money – the answer is NO, then the sly question pesters me ‘Do I WANT money?’ and the answer is a slithery slimy YES.
    I’ve almost been duped twice by frds who asked for money stating reasons such as death/debt and in one case i didnt have any money on me but in the other case I had to break off my frdship and threaten the person with letters to the HR!
    I actually prefer giving money to absolute random strangers who probably might end up spending it on a random cigarette to giving it to people I thought i could trust.
    My Pappa used to tell me ‘If anyone asks you for water, never refuse even if its the last drop you have’ luckily for me I stuck to his words and kept it to water/food. A girl in my college once refused to part with her bottle of water on this very hot summer day saying ‘I might feel thirsty later on’ which is right(shes saving for a dry hour) but i hated her for it and even let her know what I thought of her.
    A thousand times i’ve wondered if i would leave it all alone to take the path of abstinence and make a life of it and the question still lingers while the other side of my brain wants to plan a cruise or an expensive something else.
    its the need vs the want and i think the want mostly succeeds…
    And the thing about family – i’ve been to art of living, vipassana courses over a period of time since i was 10(on my own accord) simply because i was trying to explore new ways to ‘find’ myself. The crux if you get to it is always pure but the periphery is diluted by money/politics and such.
    My philosophy about giving money is ‘give it away if and only if you dont expect it back. Even the tiniest hint of expectation,don’t give’ If you do that relationship is doomed. Or better still if you have money to spare, give to a complete stranger and that way you cant boast about it…

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