Friday, December 5, 2008

Take a Chance On Me

It's happening, right here, right now. I am owning up to the fact that not only do I need money to buy groceries, gas, and other necessities, I want money. And you do too. Try it, just admit it. It feels nice and liberating. If you are really brave, say this out loud: "I want money, and I am not a materialistic, selfish piece of crap for feeling this way."

Please notice I did not say I want more than everybody else, or that I want to elevate my self worth with it. I just said I want some.

(At this moment, sitting all alone, I am laughing out loud. I just had a mental image of
that chick from Switzerland. She is shaking her head, voice full of self-righteous indignation. And she says, "You are nothing more than a typical greedy, nasty American girl. There are starving people in this world." Then I say, "And just what exactly are you doing to solve the problem. I mean, besides bashing greedy, nasty American girls. Since that's so productive and all.")

Lady, this one's for you and anyone else who might feel inclined to peer down their nose at me.

One of my current favorite songs is Live Your Life, by T.I.
Everybody's a paper chaser. I know a lot of people who want to make believe they aren't. I hope you're happy in your fantasy world because you are only fooling yourself. I'm not saying that we are obsessed with it, I am thankful we are not. I am not insinuating we live for the chase, we absolutely should not. But, if you have bills to pay, mouths to feed, or dreams to turn into realities, you have to have money.

There are a lot of reasons I want money: So I can go on weekly dates with my husband (dinner and the movie, not one or the other) giving no thought to how long we have been out, since the babysitter's fee is adding up by the minute. So we can pay for our children's college educations. I want to buy my family and friends gifts. I want to have an extra $48 just sitting around so that I can buy a pair of
Toms. More money also equals quickly paying off med school loans. I want a little more cash in my wallet so I can visit my faraway family members more than once every 12-18 months. And, I really need the big bucks so that I can found my organization (the one I have dreamed about for more than two's going to make this world better, maybe only a little bit better in the big scheme of things, but better nonetheless). Notice none of those wants are extreme. But if, in your opinion, they were extreme and frivolous...would you judge me?

Truthfully, my reasons for wanting money are not all that important. Your reasons are not all that important. I just want us to fess up, tell the truth. I am not the only one who wants more of it. I may be one of few who are willing to admit it. I understand money can't solve all of our problems. I know it doesn't make miserable, selfish people turn cheery and charitable. But, I wouldn't mind money taking a chance on me...especially since I am neither miserable nor selfish.

Lately, I am bored by the holier than thou talkers, those people who feel the need to convince others that they are far above money. Many of these people are very wealthy, not so much living in my world. Needless to say, I am more than a little skeptical of their views on money. I am sincerely happy for these people with their wads of cash....I just don't want them telling me how unimportant the wads of cash are.

I am often bewildered by the other extreme. The people who lack true work ethic. (Many having never pulled a 9to5 in the workplace or a 24/7 in the home). They have no responsibilities outside of themselves. Some remind me of nomads, just roaming from one family member or friend's house to the next. Hmmm, I might be above money too...if I was a moocher, never paid taxes and chose to flit in and out of other people's lives.

There are many wealthy people who are absolutely genuine and selfless. They know and embody the pure love of Christ. There are also rich people who would twist a knife in your back for one measly buck, especially if that one dollar meant they would have more than you have. Their greed and thirst for power drives them.

I have also become increasingly annoyed by the poor-mouthing (to intentionally plead poverty as a defense or excuse) that I hear. Poor-mouthers I know are in fact nowhere near being poor! They, like the holier than thous, would like you to believe they are above money. Some will rarely turn down an opportunity to take place in an activity that interests them, but they would like to do so with no personal sacrifice or dent in their own wallet; although, if your wallet takes a beating, no problem. Hence, the poverty plea. Boo-hoo, I'm not falling for it and I don't feel sorry for you because I know you are not poor!

Here is what I have to say to the poor-mouthers:
Please tell me, did I miss the memo? Is there a special reward in the heavenly courts for all those who pretend to be poor? It is disrespectful to those who really have practically nothing. So take off your sackcloth and find something to do that is more productive than whining.

And to the holier than thous: There is a family, both parents working long hours, paying a full and honest tithe. But still, no miracle money appears so that they can pay their electric bill or buy more groceries. Try explaining to them how little money matters in this life. Also, just because you deem a purchase as silly, impractical or frivolous, doesn't mean it is. Because you may have suffered financially in your life, doesn't mean everyone else should. If you have had such tough times, why would you want someone else to endure the same just for the sake of learning a lesson. Do you think you are scoring points in the game of life each time you convince another player that money is the root of all evil? Easy now, let's not forget. Money is not the root of all evil. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil...big difference.

To both groups: You take too much pride in your humility.

I am neither rich nor poor. While money is no substitute for love, acceptance, joy, faith or hope, there are times when used wisely, it can help promote all five. Many times in my life I have been blessed by those who understand that while we should in no way allow money to dominate our lives, it fulfills both needs and desires.

Thank you to those who have forgiven debts. Thank you to the miracle maker who left a large sum of money on our doorstep years ago when we had tiny children and the Captain was in school. Thanks to those who made sure we were well taken care of during Victoria's short time on earth...the meals, the baskets of gift cards and treats, the money that was collected to cover expenses, this list goes on forever. Thank you to the friends who gave me the DNA ancestry analysis (beyond cool, total joy). Thanks for the iPod, because music feeds my soul. Thank you for the bridesmaid's dress, and giving me the chance to be at my cousin's (who is more sister than cousin) wedding. Thank you to those friends who made sure that when Chloe was born she had fantastic bedding, accessories, and birth announcements. You literally helped usher a dream into reality. All of the things I mentioned, while expressing love, charity and kindness, cost money.

I don't think it's healthy to treat money as either an enemy or a best friend. Money is not inherently emotional or spiritual. It is rarely, in and of itself, a solution. Depending on how it is used, money can build up communities, families, and homes or it can destroy them all.

I repeat, not only do I need money, I want it too. Money, I would work hard to never take you for granted. I would put you to good use, and share you with others. I would buy a whole truckload of Toms. So, come on, take a chance on me.


Sue said...

LOL, my donation to your cause is in the mail...

mom said...

One of my all time favorite quotes....

"I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, honey, rich is better." ....Sophie Tucker

All I can add is...
"Amen, sista!"

p.s. call me... I KNOW there is a story behind this one! :)

KC Mom said...

I really feel that way about money myself...and really...the sometimes the more I get the more I want...and not necessarily in a bad way. Part of the problem is..the more you make the bigger the bills.
I also feel that way about the internet. It can be used in the most righteous ways with the very best and good results but it can also be the most wicked tool on the planet and do utter destruction.
If you think about is the same way. We make food our enemy when it should be thought of as valuable fuel for our earthly temples.
So much to think about with your post. It's all true. I would be lying if I didn't admit that my entire life I've always wanted more money. Sometimes for not so important things and other times to provide the most basic necessities. There is more harmony in my marriage when there isn't as much discourse over money. It's just a fact...we need it.

Rachel Taylor said...

My grandpa used to always tell me growing up, "there is nothing wrong with not having money, its just (pardon the french) damn inconvienient." Its so true. Money makes the world go round. Its nice when you have a little extra to give too. That is what I want, I want to have extra so that I can give to those around me, without even thinking how this will effect me later. If I have a friend in need, I want to give.

Rachel Taylor said...

I failed to mention, that your "cool" status just went sky hi knowing that you listen to T.I. Rock on! LOL