I worked hard for my money. I can spend or save it how I want. I need all of the money I earned.
I’ve heard these statements thrown around in everyday conversations many times in my lifetime. The importance of money in people’s lives is nothing new. Somethings got to pay the bills, right?
There’s a difference between being financially responsible and being greedy. I confess to the later.
At 26 years old, I can’t remember the last time I donated money, time, or my talents to those less fortunate than I am. I’ve become too concerned with every day expenses, student loan payments, saving for our first house, and basically the financial security for our family. I’ve become too concerned with worldly possessions while losing sight of the people who need help; the people who can benefit from my money.
This scares me. My heart knows it is not my money at all. So why am I so concerned with keeping it all to myself? These thoughts were on my heart for a while when my parents sent me an old school assignment that further opened my eyes.
The assignment posed the question to my eight-year-old self: What would you do if you were boss of the world?
I answered: “If I was boss of the world I would give food to all the poor people. Then I would give all my money to the poor people. I would give cloths to the poor people. I would give the poor people furniture. I would give a house to all the poor people. I would give the poor people all that stuff so they won’t be cold in the winter and they will be safe always.”
Two thoughts entered my head after I read this statement. The first, my parents did a great job teaching my sisters and I empathy. I started to remember all the acts of kindness my parents taught us.
An example I distinctly remembered was taking months to collect as much change as we could find, and then bringing our bucket of mostly pennies, nickels and dimes to a local charity. We did this multiple times often trying to collect more money than the last.
It is no wonder that my response included a lot of giving and loving others. Our parents instilled in us at a young age to always be kind and to work hard to give to the less fortunate.
The second thought, wow I am being selfish and scared right now. I am not living like my parents taught me to live. I am not living like Jesus teaches us to live. The words I once wrote at a young age speak of giving all I have and providing safety for others. How can I teach my daughter to be empathetic towards others, if I’m not a living example.
So I ask you to ponder these questions today:
What if we worried less about our bank accounts rising, and we placed more energy towards loving and helping others?
What if we only spent money on the necessities, and we gave our extra money, time or things to those who need it more than ourselves?
What if we cared more about people, than what people think of us?
What if we loved like our eight-year-old selves; freely and without holding back?
I know I am no where close to being “The Boss of the world.” I don’t think I’d ever wish for that title in the first place. However I, being the wife, mother, sister, neighbor, stranger that I am, hold the power to make positive choices for the well-being of all. I hold the power to give and to love without holding back.
I need to change in order to be a role model for my one-year-old daughter. I need to teach and show her that even if you have a little, there’s always enough for someone else.