Friday, July 13, 2007

Money and Dividend; Big or Small?

When do you consider an amount big, or when do you consider an amount small?

What size of dividend would you want? To what scale can your investments range?

 

Given also the situation that your investments are all successful, what do you do

with the money after that? Engage more and more in other investments, to gain

more and more money? And then, when you have more and more money, you

engage more and more and more in other investments, so you gain more and more

and more and more money? Whew! The cycle never stops? Well, there is one thing

that is sure to stop. Your life. And here comes the big question: what will happen next?

When you have so much money, and you die, what happens to your money? What will

happen to all your pursuits of making huge money? What will your investments

amount to after all? For sure, in your pursuit of money, you would have missed

doing other things. What if the things you missed to do in your pursuit of money

are very important things, things that would give meaning to your life, and death,

and even after you are gone?

 

There is this investment that I know will never fail, and it doesn’t depend on the

size or scale of investment you do. Big or small, singular or varied, the investment

of helping other people with your money is one sure investment to make. Money is

manmade, and although in one way or the other ‘can help to make a man/woman’,

it does not permanently do so. The right perspective of what money is and the proper

use of it will ensure that money is never made as the master of our fate, and is never

our goal in life. It is a tool, and if a tool is an extension of the hands to make us even more

efficient and effective in our jobs, then so be it with money. It should be used to facilitate

our extending of hands. And by the way, it is no use extending our hands when it is

clenched so tightly. When our fist is closed, it is no sign of a willing assistance.

 

I remember the story of how hunters trap monkeys. The hunters would get a coconut,

bore a hole on it, the size of which is just to let the open hands of a monkey go in. Then,

a banana would be put inside. Of course, the coconut would be puched on the other side

so that a rope can be secured to it. Then the coconut is hanged, or simply left in the open.

When the scent of the banana is caught by an unsuspecting ape or chimp, it would come

and look for the source. Once it knows that the banana is inside, it would slip its hand,

then grab the banana. Now, since the closed fist is bigger than the hole, the monkey is

trapped. And mind you, it would never let go of the banana, even if the trapped limb

gets cut and wounded. Whoa! How’s that?

 

Sometimes, the same situation we see in humans. Even with the so-called superior

intellect and cognition that homo sapiens possess, many people still get trapped with

money. Whe else would somebody quote: ‘money is not everything; it is the only thing’?

 

Yesterday, I was faced with this question of what amount is big, what amount is small.

Of course, it would depend on what the usage or purpose is. At any rate, it is still so much

dependent on the person concerned. What others may deem small, others already say big.

There are also people who have no concept or size or amount. They would readily dispense

or let go of an amount asked for, so long as they have it.

 

What am I talking about? Since I am not a rich man (I wish I were, not just rich, but

very, very, very rich), I’ve had many, many occasions of needing to borrow money

from friends and acquaintances. And from these, many, many experiences I’ve had.

There are those who you are close to, and when you ask them for financial help, knowing

that they are able to help you, you get turned down. There are also close, close friends

who are able to help you, and they say they will, but only give you hope – for nothing.

And then, there are those whom you think can’t help you, or won’t help you, but they do!

Indeed, some have really opened up their hearts and hands, and would welcome you.

Their reason is that you won’t ask for help if you don’t need it. There are those who

help, and part of their reason is that now, they can. If they will come to the same need

one day, then somebody would return the kindness they now show. Isn’t that exemplary?

 

I’ve had the chance of being on the other side of this dealing, and the joy it gives is profound.

And since I’m the type of person who don’t know if an amount is big or small, since I have it,

I didn’t think twice. The fulfilment is indescribable. The inward gladness is immense.

And no, it is not because the other person is in a bad situation. But it is the joy of sharing

what you have, to those who are in need. And it is not money lost! And the dividend is such

that the profit is manifold. That is why I wish I were a very, very, very rich man. If money

can make me happy this way, then I will definitely use this tool to make me happy. I won’t

withhold money. If I do, I don’t only withhold to others the help they need; I hurt myself as well.

 

And it makes me ask the same question whenever I hear or read or a person accummulating

vast amount of wealth, striking it rich by making the right investments, ‘what does it lead to’?

When their earthly life is over, what is next? Christ asked the very same question, driving

the point right home:

 

Mark 8:36

“For what shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?”

 

What is the purpose of your investment? What is your ultimate goal? Is your end to gain

as much money as you can, and become a financial giant, or you aim to invest in people,

building friendships, helping lives? Have you closed your hands and clenched them tightly

so your money won’t escape? Or is money holding you? What legacy do you want to leave?

 

It’s your choice after all.

 

 

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