For What Does Your Bell Toll?

MoneySeveral weeks ago, a friend took new position at a new company.  While the position offers a lot of work, it was the most income he ever made in his life. Upon working this morning and the first thing his wife asked was, “How much was your paycheck today?” No “Good morning, dear.” No “I love you.” No kiss.  Only money.

Yet this family is not unlike most. The weekly balancing of the family budget is filled with challenges and landmines, shreds and concerns (or accusations) of spending too much, too little, not saving enough or outright ignorance. unfortunately, anyone who needs to pay the rent or mortgage has to learn how to budget. Sadly, our financial battles can be historic.

In reality, money is unavoidable. Rather, it is people’s attitude that causes worry and stress. Much of our views are shaded by the status that money can offer, as if upon hitting that status, all the world will then become divine.

The way in which we use money isolates rather than unites. For a fact, I know the husband referenced in my opening took the new position, not because he felt challenged by the position or experience a deep sense of fulfilled for the work itself. Rather, he took the position because it offered him the illusion of an oasis – income. Should the income be high enough, significant enough, plentiful enough, would his wife finally shut the hell up.

In this revelation, almost everyone I’ve discussed financial planning has never looked at financial planning from a spiritual or divine process. Rarely, if ever, do we connect such planning to the values to which we’re living. So, rather than asking whether the axis of life at the center of your budget aligns to your value, do you breathe for another’s approval? Do you keep up with neighbor or reflect upon and adapt to a personal, albeit, spiritual purpose?

Buddhism teaches about cause and effect. For the couple above, one partner may achieve the dream of the other. But for that one partner, it was the other’s dream, lived only other’s day, and only the other’s agenda. And when sunset spans the horizon, neither brought value which solidified their love or fulfilled an unfed spiritual yearning.

So, the question I ask, whose spiritual purpose do you live? For what does your bell toll?



Categories: Life Lessons

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