Is Money Actually The Root Of All Evil?
We’ve all heard, at one time or another, and probably many times, that “money is the root of all evil”. Irrespective of whether you agree with this or not, do you realize that this quote/saying is taken out of context, and is actually wrong?
The actual phrase, taken from both Ecclesiastes and Timothy, is “The love of money is the root of all evil”. That is a bit different, isn’t it? It is the love of money, not money itself that is the root of evil.
There are two thoughts I want to share from this:
- I don’t know about ALL evil, but money sure is the root of a lot of it. Unfortunately, we only need to open our daily newspaper to see the veracity of the quote. How many politicians or hedge fund managers have gone to jail for illegal practices that enrich their bank accounts, even when they already have tens or hundreds of millions of dollars? The head of the Galleon Group hedge fund was sentenced to twelve years in prison for insider trading; his wealth exceeded a billion dollars when he was arrested. Did he really need more money?
- You can’t trust what you hear to be accurate or even close to reality. Think about this when the media tells you about the crisis de jour. To coin a phrase: things often are not what they appear to be, and I’d add “… not necessarily what the media reports it to be, especially when it comes to markets and economic forecasts”. There’s all kinds of gloom and doom forecasts about the coming world meltdown when the Fed finally increases interest rates. I think the truth is that the market has already priced in that event, and the effect on the market, if any, will prove to be quite transient.
Here, at BCR, we not only realize that there is more to life than money, but we use the idea in our tagline: Your life in balance.
A couple of days ago I received a phone call from a friend from my childhood. I have had very little contact with him in the last 45 years; he’s about to turn 69 years of age. He has enough money for his life, he says. However, he’s in a bad situation:
- He and his wife are contemplating divorce.
- He’s been in depression for many years.
- Reflecting back on his life he believes he accomplished nothing in his life.
- A few years ago he actually intentionally attempted to take his own life by overdosing on a prescription drug and was in a coma for eight days.
- He stays in his house for days on end, often spending the day in bed.
This is horrifying to me. We were very close friends through high school, in each other apartments hundreds of times. Yet, here he has all the money he needs, and is miserable. He actually told me, repeatedly, how lucky he thinks I am because of my happy marriage of 47 years, my three children and many grandchildren. Notice he didn’t say anything about money, in either his situation or mine.
Money is nice, but it surely doesn’t buy happiness. He had a love of money, strove to amass a great deal of it, and only has misery.
Funny isn’t it that the biblical personalities have so much to tell us today?