Monday, August 9, 2010

A Love of Money is Dangerous

I know this sounds strange, but I'm grateful that my parents taught me to value many things over money. I think if wealth was my goal or driving force, Nigeria would be much more dangerous.

The driver who took me from Abuja airport and I had a lively conversation. I told him that its important to me to remember that all the fancy things in my job (the car, house, drivers, nice food, etc) are all borrowed and not mine. He protested that, if I wanted, they could be mine.

That wasn't the point. I don't want to own these things. I will treat them with more respect because they belong to another (they all belong to my employers). Beyond that, it is dangerous to covet these things.

In Nigeria you can easily be distracted by the flashy stuff. Plenty of Nigerians (and other people) are! But it gets in the way--of doing a good job, maintaining strong morals, developing self-control, and staying grounded in the real world.

I was raised to try to create value, human happiness, reduce suffering and develop strong human relationships.

So I am glad that, beyond enough money to live, do some international travel, and to pay off my debts, is enough. I already feel better taken care of by having true friends, good relationships, a tight-knit and supportive family. I would not trade these things for any price.

Thanks for listening!

1 comment:

  1. There are an increasing number of people opting for leading simpler lives. People who challenge themselves to live using multiple combinations of just seven pieces of clothing in a month for example. Eating local produce. Reducing consumption to live sustainably. That comes out of over-consuming for many years and then whittling down.

    Does everyone have to go through this process? Could the poor want to be stay self-disciplined as they come out of poverty?