I recently got an unsubscription notice from someone who no longer wants these articles emailed to them (*tear*). Here’s the reason he put as why:
I changed my philosophy on money and will be storing my treasures in heaven and not on this earth.
At first I was like “Rock on, man. What a great reminder!” as I’m personally working on being better at giving back myself.* After all, we can’t take any of this stuff along with us, right? And who doesn’t like helping out their fellow man?
A few minutes later, however, I caught myself feeling a little annoyed… “Wait, what do you mean your philosophy changed? Are you not going to manage your money anymore? Do you think wealth is all evil now? Are you getting all insightful or snotty?”
I read it over and over again, and started wondering if it was a dig against our own overall mission here (to increase financial awareness and save dat money!) or if he thought the two were mutually exclusive. Which of course would be absurd. I don’t think he meant any harm by it, but I also don’t think it was a compliment either ;)
After bouncing around from feeling guilty, to deep thought, to being pissed!, and then back to guilt again, I finally landed on “peace.” Mixed with some “thankfulness.” Peace that I can rationally ask myself such questions and not get too down on myself, but thankful for it being brought up and giving us something juicy to consider today. Because let’s be honest – we definitely think more about growing our wealth than sharing it. Or at least I do. And again is something I very much want to improve upon.
That being said, I also think that you can affect a lot better change when you’ve got your $hit together vs being a hot mess. Both financially, and in life in general.
It’s hard to help anyone when we can’t even help ourselves, and is the exact reason those sexy flight attendants are always reminding us to put on our own oxygen masks first before our neighbor’s ;) Sure you want to save the whole plane, but you’re not that useful if you can’t breath yourself! At the same time, hoarding all the oxygen (or money) and not lifting a finger ain’t that great for society either.
So to me it seems like you need a happy medium of having the foundation down, while also being able to help others at the same time. And the better the foundation, the more you can help.
(Though I will give mad credit to all those who go above and beyond and just kill it in our world too… Did you see that article on the couple who lives off 6% of their income and gives away the rest? Like $100,000 worth/year?? Incredible.)
As for these treasures on Earth vs in Heaven, well, I’ll let you decide where you think our community’s mission here falls. I think we do a pretty good job of setting a positive tone with our money, but I also can’t remember the last time we talked about being a good citizen in the world either. And I agree it’s an important factor in the grand plan – no matter your spirituality.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Sir Sidney Poitier who I think states it all rather well:
“I always wanted to be someone better the next day than I was the day before.”
Now that’s something to strive for!
PS: Who wants to subscribe to our blog posts now to make up for the person we lost? ;)
* I’ve been meaning to blog about a new philanthropy goal I’ve set for myself where I pick one new small organization or person to help each month in order to get back on track with this stuff. We’re currently going into month #5 already and so far so good! There’s something about constantly keeping your eyes open for *new* opportunities to help – and setting a monthly budget for it – that seems to be the magic concoction here… But I’ll share more on it all soon… Feel free to unsubscribe in the meantime :)