Friday, April 29, 2011
What is your priority?
How important is money to you? What will you do without money? Can you live without money? When will you feel you have enough money? Is a life of poverty worth living?
Some of these questions popped up in mind after a recent discussion with an acquaintance. She was of the firm opinion that money is critical and that it is easier said than done to live a life without money. People will intellectualize that money is not important but in reality will actually crave for it. Without money life is full of suffering and hardships etc.
It led me to think deeply on this subject and below are some thoughts that occurred to me. I give below 4 specific thoughts that came to my mind which makes me believe that there are other more important things than money. Yes, money is a tool and helps live life comfortably but it is not worth putting money into the center of our lives.
The first thought that came to me was of Steve Jobs. Here is a man - undoubtedly successful and extremely rich but with a terminal sickness at a fairly young age. What would be his priority? Will he not be willing to give up his entire wealth for the sake of a few more years of healthy life? His confidence in his abilities would be certainly high and he would probably give anything to have more time in this world. If not for anything else, he would want to live so that the ideas / innovations in his mind can see the light of the day. So, health probably is more important than money.
The second thought that came to me was of my mother. She passed away a few years ago. What use is wealth if it cannot be shared with ones loved ones? There might be so many people with no dearth of wealth but with a certain feeling of loneliness in their lives due to the absence of loved ones. So, between wealth and love, love takes a higher position.
The third thought that came to my mind was integrity and values. To what extent would one go to earn money? Is it right to compromise on morals and give a higher ranking to money. Most of us would emphatically draw the line and say that on the question of integrity there can be no compromise even if it means sacrificing lots of money.
The last thought that came to mind was the situation in Mahabharatha in which Arjun and Duryodhana are in Lord Krishna's chambers seeking his help in the Mahabaratha war. While Duryodhana chose the vast armies of Krishna (symbolic of worldly wealth), Arjuna was content with Krishna on his side. He thought that if I have God on my side, what else is required.
Money is no doubt important to get us material comforts. But matters like health, love, integrity and spirituality are more important and if we focus on these, money will never be a priority or a scarcity in our lives.
So, what is your priority?