Last night, I went to see Everclear play at the Coolangatta hotel – Art Alexakis is, to my mind, one of the most under-rated song writers of the last 20 years.
Anyway, they finished with “I will buy you a new life” and as they began playing it, Art said
“This is a song about love – not about money!”.
And it really is – it’s a song about a guy who loves his woman so much that he gives her what little money he has and promises to make enough money to buy her things so that they can create a new life together.
My favourite lines:
“I hate those people who love to tell you
Money is the root of all that kills
They have never been poor
They have never had the joy of a welfare christmas”
You’re so right.
When you grow up on the poverty line, it’s hard to see money as an evil thing. That’s a middle class luxury.
It’s also a first-world luxury.
When I was in Egypt last year, I was having a conversation with our guide Mohammed about our business. I was explaining to him that a lot of what we do is help people let go of their “stuff” around money. He was REALLY confused by this.
“What do you mean “stuff”?”
“Oh, you know – people who are afraid of making lots of money … “
Mohammed’s eyes went wide
“Afraid … of money? Why would anyone be afraid of having lots of money?”
And it occurred to me in that moment that fear of having money is a purely first world problem. When every day is about survival because you live in a third world country, or because you grow up on the poverty line where it’s normal to come home to no electricity, no food and to miss out on normal things the other kids get to do – fear around money isn’t really an issue.
So when that fear starts rearing it’s ugly head … when you start saying things like “Money isn’t important to me” (well of course it’s not – it’s just a bunch of numbers. But that’s not an excuse to not do the work), “Look at all the money they’ve got – they must have fucked a lot of people over”, “Money is the root of all evil” – then be GRATEFUL. Because you were born into a country and a family that allowed you the LUXURY to think like this.
And then realise that with that blessing comes a responsibility.
Not everyone has been blessed the way you have. And while I’m certainly not saying you’re going to be able to “save” the third world or people who are poverty stricken in your own country, you’ll have the option to do a hell of a lot more for people (including the ones you love) WITH money than you will without it.
Fear and hatred around money, like procrastination and perfectionism, is just another silly story you’re telling yourself that does not serve you. Nor does it serve the world or your higher mission. Let it go …