The Love of Money

Nature revealed a wondrous sense of justice when she admitted money into the world merely as a limited legal tender. All the greatest things in life, those of mind, heart and soul, she put safely beyond the power of money to buy. Money, in its purchasing capacity, is restricted to the material things of life, those that appeal to the senses in some way, and to service, comfort, luxury and position. Just a little way beyond these is a clearly marked dead-line that money as a mere finality cannot cross.

Mere money can buy none of the eternal realities of life—all that makes living highest, truest and best. They are as far beyond its reach as the Polar Star. It cannot buy love, happiness, honour, truth, justice, faith, self-respect, hope, trust, friendship, loyalty, courage, genius—any of the fine manifestations of mind and heart and soul. When money enters the field of the intangible, it ceases to be legal tender for realities. It can buy only semblances, substitutes, imitations, never realities. In this field, it can buy only evils, never virtues. It is only in the market of the material things of this life that it can buy what it will.” ~ William George Jordan

The funny thing about money is that it is a perfectly healthy medium of exchange until it is put ahead of the things it cannot buy. I’ve heard many people say “money is the root of all evil,” but in so saying they are missing two important words from the original quote. The original quote did not say “money is the root of all evil”; it said that the “love of money is the root of all evil.”

There is a BIG difference between the two. Money, like any material thing in life, is not intrinsically bad or evil. What is done with it determines its value.

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6 Responses to The Love of Money

  1. Lady Leo says:

    Beautifully expressed, thank you. The value of the experience of trusteeship is one of those intangibles that is …as is said …priceless! Money is a neutral rather like fire… It will warm or burn depending on the inclination and understanding of the individual.

  2. Kai Newell says:

    Both the wording of the original quote and the boundaries to what money can actually buy are such a worthy meditation. Thank you!

  3. David R says:

    Odd that such a snowstorm of illusion has been almost universally accepted with respect to this topic. Few there are who are not mesmerized by financial concern. “Follow the money” is often suggested when seeking motive and method. However, as your post articulates so well, the value people seek cannot be secured through money. And ultimately it is the value each of us expresses into the world – just that- that carries sustainable meaning.

  4. Nicole says:

    Money is in itself neutral. It’s our feeling and use of it that can be either balanced or out of balanced and that can be said for just about anything. What a great consideration sandwiched between the Christmas and New Year Holiday. Calorie free food for thought!

  5. Colin says:

    Money, of course, is very useful in day to day life. It becomes more harm then good, however, when it is put before the most important things, and is chased at their expense. If you cannot find the right priorities in life, you will end up losing those things that are truly important.

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