Money has no power. Only the power we give it.
Let’s say you were lost on a remote island which you believed to be uninhabited. You’re elated to find that there is actually civilization on the island, but they’re not particularly altruistic. They are willing to outfit you with the necessary resources to live—that is, if you are able to provide them with something of value. Instinctively, you pull out your wallet to find $2,000 in U.S. currency, a credit card and a debit card. As you wave the green stuff in their face, they look at each other confused. Thankfully, you have a nice watch and sunglasses! They use the money to start a fire.
This truth that money has no power is not restricted to metaphor. Quite literally, the United States went off of the Gold Standard in the early 1970s. Prior to this move by the Nixon administration, each Dollar was backed by a proportionate allotment of actual gold. We now have a fiat currency, which means the Dollar is only supported by our belief in its strength (which waxes and wanes).
But regardless of its lack of actual underlying value, our culture seems to attribute increasingly more power to the almighty Dollar (and its international friends, virtually all of which are also now fiat currencies). Indeed, money is the number one cause of conflict between people and nations.
This statement of fact should not be seen as condemnation of money. It’s neither inherently good nor evil. It is, however, an excellent facilitator of that which does have infinite power…Relationship. Relationship feeds and clothes. Relationship builds and innovates. Relationship advises and teaches. Relationship invests and ensures (and sometimes insures). Relationship accepts and hedges risks. Relationship is science and art. Relationship creates. Relationship loves.
Money was created to bring people together who needed a service or product for which they could not trade. It was created to facilitate Relationship. If we hate money, we suffer, likely with none. If we love money, we may possess it, but we still suffer (and so do those we love).
If we neutralize money, seeing it as it truly is—a tool—we can employ it optimally for its designed purpose.