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?


rama said...

I feel your friend is right when she said money was important.If one has money one talk like this saying that money is secondary, but when you don't have money only then can a person realise the value of money.
That person who was terminally ill can think that if only he can get good health, instead of having all the money which he had and must have used it for his treatment, but is led to think I wish i had health instead of so much money.
The thing is to have money is not a crime, not knowing the value of money is the biggest crime. The universe always gives something more and gives something less, so that we can then understand the worth of what we don't have. So I would say there is no right or wrong, it is each person's way of looking at life.
One more thing unless you know darkness you would never know what is light. In everything we must strive for balance, and not give in to such lofty ideals which is not going to help a person be practical in life.
And regarding Krishna , he had already planned to pull the rug under Duryodhana's feet. The epics are all maya, with schemers and liars, which is brought to its appropriate end by showing mankind, that good always wins over the evil.
Well this is my opinion and is not meant to offend anybody.

Jatin Jani said...


Excellent thought.

Want to add that one can follow the concept described more strictly after certain level of monetary status they enjoyed.For ex. Buffet can say /follow more strongly that money is not sole object of our life in comparison of other people.

Being Pramoda... said...

We may not require only money to live but we definitely require some with which we live and make sure that we do justice to our life..

Good post..:)

Sonal Raisinghani said...

The title of your blogpost reads 'What is your priority" But In your entire blogpost you are comparing money with other important things like health, love, integrity and values, sprituality etc....Your blogpost is hovering around money... The question you are trying find an answer for is "How important money is to an individual"

Well I would say Money is important in ones life.... But for this
1) One should have a clear understanding of how much of it is required by me
2) While trying to run behind money Am I ready to sacrifice other important things in my life
3) How important are these other things in my life or Put it the other way What is their priority level..
4) What is my exigency plan ?

Priorities of an individual change in different stages of life cycle and so does the importance of money but few things that can never be sacrificed for money as per me would be

1) Trust on God almighty since he has already decided our role on earth here
2) Your loved ones and their right for your love and attention
3) Your Integral value system
4) Value for the gift of life God has given you. You are merely an custodian of it and use it judiciously.

V Rakesh said...

My priority is to be blessed with unending peace, good health and a very bad memory! :-)