When I was a History student I learnt that money as we know it today has not always been with us. In past, so – called primitive economies, goods and services were exchanged for other goods and services.
I can only imagine people in the barter economy living in harmony, ready to assist one another, willing to sacrifice their simple belongings and time so their neighbours could readily have what they desperately needed to survive.
Then came money …
In my Economics lessons, I was made to understand that money came to perform important functions. Money became necessary for a more complex and rapidly advancing economy. This is because barter was seriously constrained to perform those functions satisfactorily.
Now it became easier to store the wealth of individuals and nations for as long as was necessary. The convenience of transporting wealth over long distances and of exchanging such for other needs has also improved greatly.
Unfortunately, however, money has had a rather addictive effect on us. And like anything with addictive properties, it has gradually stripped many of us of our basic humanity.
Studying Literature, I came face to face with a horrific reality. Sad to say, man’s tendency to do virtually anything in order to grab money in stupidly large quantities has reduced him to the level of the lower animals.
Such African novels as Money Galore, A Man of the People and Fragments by Ayi Kwei Armah spare no effort in exposing the corrupting effect of money on newly – independent societies of Africa in particular.
Today, we murder our fellow human beings because of money. We lie, we manipulate, we cheat and we steal so we can have money to acquire and hoard stuff we hardly need to survive. The world has become so dangerous a place that we are scared of our close friends and relatives harming us either spiritually or physically in their attempt to grab as much money as possible.
Here is the big question …
Taking a serious look at yourself, do you really believe you need all that stuff you’re grabbing all the money for, in order to live a contented life?
Apart from adequate food, enough clothing to keep the body covered and warm during a cold weather and a place to live in relative comfort and security there is little else that we require as human beings. So if ever we look for ways to earn extra income or to accumulate more stuff, that effort should be driven by these higher goals:
- to help the less fortunate and the needy
- to make life easier for those we care about
- to help make our communities a better place to live in
As you rise every morning, let this question guide your every move to make more money: Why am I working to make money? Is it to make life a bit more comfortable for myself and my fellow human being or I’m simply greedily grabbing more than necessary for myself?
And make sure you follow the answer that makes you a better, less wicked, less selfish and more humane individual.
Good news …
Barter system of trade is gradually gaining currency again. Swap is the term in use now. Don’t you think we should all turn to barter once more?
Kindly leave your comments below.