Sunday, March 31, 2013

An aversion to money

The other day, someone told me that my problem was that I have an aversion to money. I thought about that for a bit, because it's true, I do have something of a phobia when it comes to dealing with banks and other financial institutions. But no, I don't have an aversion to money. You want to pay me $100 an hour or $200 or $500 instead of what I'm currently making? Deal. I'm worth it. I've inherited a hundred grand? Sweet. I just earned a royalty check for a million bucks?  I won't turn it down.

However...

I do have an aversion to people who think that having money makes them better than those who don't. I value qualities like compassion, intelligence, loyalty, and talent more than the size of someone's bank account.

I do have an aversion to people who think that having money makes them more important than the rest of us and think that being rich gives them the right to control everyone else's lives. There's a difference between money and power. However, they're inextricably linked, and too often, the possession of money leads to abuse of power.

I do have an aversion to people who think that the pursuit of money justifies treating others with contempt. Sure, get rich, but don't do it by wrecking other people's lives. And saying "it's just business" isn't an excuse for fraud, theft, disloyalty, or being a bastard.

I do have an aversion to people who forget (or never knew) what it's like not to have money, and then lecture others. Do you have any idea how offensive it is when you tell someone that it "only" costs a sum of money equal to a month's or a year's wages for a basic service? When your pocket change is someone else's ambition, don't deride them for not making the same life choices as you.

So, no, I don't have an aversion to money. I have an aversion to rich assholes.



It is possible to be wealthy and still be a nice person. I've met a few of them, though they're vastly outnumbered  by the rich assholes. I'd like to think that if I ever make any serious money, I'd be one of the nice guys.

Sadly, I'm probably too ethical ever to get the chance to find out. But feel free to throw a large pile of money my way. Call it aversion therapy.

1 comment:

Michael Davis said...

Christ what an asshole I was back when I was wealthy. At least I was a *fun* asshole to have around, as the Orlando scene ten years ago would attest to, anyway.