More than Money
Top news for close to a year has been economics, whether it was the drastic rise in oil and gas prices, the housing crisis, corporations needing bailouts, or unemployment. We have been focusing on our wallets for a long time and we have been scared about the future all at the same time.
When you think about history, you have to realize that money comes and goes, sometimes in drastic ways. For example, after World War I in Germany, inflation was so extreme that people used paper money for wallpaper. Money was worthless. Stock market crashes have also caused people to lose a lot of money as well.
To calm anxiety, now is the time to focus on what truly makes us rich: human relationships. People survive extreme economic times not through the fleeting security of money but through the relationships they establish with other people. For one thing, when money is a problem, barter becomes a popular way of getting both goods and services. Bartering can be the start of a friendship.
Family and church families help to fill in the gaps that money leaves. For example, when people have been foreclosed out of their houses, they often find family members to stay with temporarily. Churches often have food banks that can ease burdens on families. Friends may not be able to help as much as family members, but the pal who springs for a cup of coffee or a fast food meal so you can enjoy each other’s company also contributes to your well-being.
While it is prudent to save money for the future, it is also prudent to invest in human capital: friends and family. This means taking some time to enjoy people in your life. It doesn’t take a lot of time or any money to send someone a friendly e-mail or even an e-card. A phone call to say, “How are you doing?” will also be appreciated.
There’s an old saying, “What goes around comes around.” We don’t necessarily help each other out because we expect some kind of immediate material return, but if we are known as helpful, we are likely to be helped when we are in need. Besides, having good relationships with other people not only increases security but it also gives a greater satisfaction than sticking another dollar in the bank.
So, here’s an investment anyone can make, no matter how rich or poor. And it is an investment that is sure to pay dividends, which is a lot more than can be said for many financial investments!