Mindfulness Our Daily Adventures

Does Money Really Matter?

Yesterday, I heard news from a good friend of mine that her best friend is in the hospital. She has had a high fever for weeks now, and not one doctor knows what’s causing it. They scanned her top to bottom, did all the analysis, and she’s still not getting better, no matter what kind of therapy they spring on her.

Now, she and her fiancé are loaded. And I mean – loaded. Where I’m from, people who have a lot less money and a lot less serious ailments tend to go to the private doctors. Yes, you have to pay them (unlike the public doctors), but they are quick, knowledgeable, and a lot more interested in helping you.

That girl has been in a hospital, running a fever for a month. She may have some time-sensitive illness – a fever that lasts 30 days can’t just be nothing, can it?

And yet, neither she nor her fiancé paid for one private visit, one private doctor — nothing. My friend confirmed that she generally tends to complain whenever she has to spend money on anything.

And it really got me thinking: is money that important? And how important is it really?

Money Matters… But to an Extent

When my friend told me about this situation, I couldn’t help but remember the time Steve Jobs died. He had so much money, and yet, he couldn’t use it to prolong his life.

I’m not saying this is the same situation — and I do hope this is something benign — but the life-money connection reminded me of it.

We tend to value money so much we often do it at our own (pardon the pun) expense. We want to have money, but for what? The purpose of money is to be able to give a nice life to yourself — not to keep it under the rug!

Another friend of mine said something smart years back, and it really stuck with me:

“I want to have just enough money to not have to worry about fixing my car when it breaks down, or replacing the TV if I need to.”

And for me, that sums it up. I want to have enough money to feel comfortable. To not worry whether a pack of apples costs $3 or $7 dollars. To be able to travel twice a year to some nice place, and overall — to be able to give my husband and kid a nice life.

Yes, I like that I could afford a brand new laptop as soon as I had the need for it; and I love the fact I can buy gadgets for my husband and all the fancy equipment and clothes for my baby.

But at the end of the day, I will still pay for a private doctor whenever I need to go to one.

I will save money aside so I can afford to own a house in a couple of years.

And I’ll not look at my bank account for 10 days on end because it really shouldn’t be about having money at any cost.

It’s about creating a nice, comfortable life for you and your family during the time you have.

At least that’s how I see it.

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