Money’s a funny thing. It seems to be the most important thing in all the world, essential to feeding and loving and living. Then, just when it seems more important than ever, you realise that it isn’t at all.
But surely money…
- gives you power.
- makes you feel good.
- makes other people respect you.
Well, yeah it does. But it’s a short-cut.
It is easier to buy your power than it is to influence others by your actions. It is easier to spend on instant gratification than it is to spend your life content. It is easier to earn money than it is to earn the respect of others.
But this isn’t what I’m most concerned with. I couldn’t really care less if you want to spend money on power, happiness or respect. No: I’m worried because money is boring.
Here are some choices, with money or with imagination:
- We could go to the cinema tonight. Or we could jump in the Serpentine and make out on the island.
- We could go to a restaurant for dinner. Or we could rummage around the fruit and veg market after closing and cook up some free food on an open fire in the woods.
- I could join a gym and work-out in front of a mirror. Or I could go for a run in Epping Forest, get covered in mud and see how high I can climb a tree.
Boring is the enemy and money is the friend of boring.
If you think about it, it’s obvious: money is what (stereotypical) accountants like best. Anyone who wants to live like a (stereotypical) accountant is welcome to their money, but me? Naw thanks.
This boredom can be overcome, of course it can. I’m sure you can think of a hundred interesting things to do with a hundred pounds. But how many people actually spend a hundred nicker on fitting out the local bus shelter with velcro so that all the morning commuters get their suits stuck on the sides?
Of course we don’t. That’s because money is part of a system and that system is boring. You can’t package up a sunset or a tree mud or a lake. People have tried, oh boy have they tried, but some things are beyond market forces.
Money is part of a boring system so we can only spend it on boring things. Rent, restaurants, retail. Drink it on a Saturday night, then dance it away at a club – who ever thought we’d pay to dance?
Do you think Zorba would have paid to dance?