The Root of Good and Evil

What would you do if you won the lottery? Ever thought about it? Take a moment and feel it. Imagine yourself with bundles of money, enough to bathe in. Imagine yourself with paid bills and no debt. Imagine yourself traveling all over the world and affording those slick cars of your dreams.

Sounds nice, huh?

It's so tragic how our lives are based around money. Over a month and a half ago I was offered a job at the local bank and since then I have done transactions for a variety of people. Despite their many differences my customers all have something in common: their lives revolve around money. Though soft, fragile and innocent, those crinkled green bills determine our fate: Do we live a life of luxury or hardship?

Amazing how pieces of paper can hold so much power. No matter how sustainable and self sufficient one is, money still holds an influence over life. It is the root of all evil. It is what causes corruption and desperation. Money is the number one cause of crime and it's just paper! It literally grows on trees. Why must we exert so much energy towards maintaining a healthy balance of something that is never fully in our grasp? Why can't we focus on ourselves and those we love? Why can't we spend more time living our lives with our families instead of working all week? It's a backwards system.

There are those who challenge money by declaring it can't buy happiness. Although I agree with the concept, it's not accurate. For example:

No matter what it comes down to, money is life. Rousseau believed that society corrupts the individual, but if money is what fuels society then it truly is the root of all evil. Like society, however, there is no way around money. (Unless of course you live off the grid, but then you wouldn't be reading this.)

Honestly the idea of living off the grid sounds quite appealing. (No more complaining about the government because there isn't one!) However, with the increasing "grid" there is a dwindling amount of "off the grid" space, therefore we can't all enjoy this freedom.

But there is something we can do. We can fight back. We can declare a war on money, crazy as it sounds. For those of us who think ahead the outcome is really quite possible to achieve. How do we do this? Debt. Our entire economy is in shambles because of this debt. I propose we become the rational human beings we were born to be, and in doing so we can decrease our debt.

Upon hearing the sum $150,000 my jaw dropped. This is the amount of debt a Lyndon State College student is left with after boarding and attending classes for four years. The startling fact is that this number is equivalent to a mortgage. On top of that LSC is a very inexpensive school compared to most! If my generation is saddled with college debt this steep and is having difficulty finding a job upon graduation, the expenses can only increase.

With students leaving school already strapped to a mortgage it is difficult to afford a home their own. When they find one their down payment decreases and their mortgage increases. Debt, debt, debt! Then they are convinced to apply for a credit card which only exacerbates the situation. Money is now controlling their lives.

But we should be in control of money. Instead of money holding our education above our heads, students should start out at community college and apply for scholarships. Instead of being a co-owner of a house with the bank, find a smaller more affordable one. We should limit ourselves to one credit card, but choose to pay in cash more often. We can also grow our own food in a garden and practice sustainability. Not only will it save the planet but our wallets as well.

There are positives and negatives to money. Lately all we've been hearing about on the news are negatives. Instead of feeling powerless we need to take control. Let go of something that's too expensive. Doesn't it feel better to own a used vehicle then have to pay astronomically high payments for a new one? Will attending an Ivy League school really provide one with a better education than a state school? I think that instead of feeling wrapped up in needing the best of the best, we should focus on what's right for us. That way we can make money our friend instead of our enemy. With fewer payments think of what we can do with that extra cash! VACTION!

I think that through living within our limits, practicing the art of frugality and saving money for the future is our best bet to happiness, not winning the lottery (although that does sound nice too!).

Meg BrownComment