Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  If you look around us, there’s a lot to be thankful for.  Aside from being thankful we should also learn to be content with who we are and what we have in our life.  It’s not bad to aim a goal we want to reach but not to the extend [...]

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Page added on October 29, 2018

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Erwinism: Money Talks

Erwinism: Money Talks thumbnail

By: Erwin Maramat

The cerulean blue skies hang in the backdrop as if they were the majestic drapes of heaven, only a few hours later a layer of overwhelming light from saffron sunset began diluting the afternoon. I sat there with a cup of Timmy’s double-double with a shot of espresso contemplating about life. It was then I picked up a pen and a piece of paper to conduct a personified imaginary interview with an imaginary concept called money.

Tell me a little something about yourself.

Money: I am called by different names; dough, green, dinero, and sometimes I am mistaken to be a symbol of love or friendship. I can be tangible or abstract.  I am means to procure and a reason for either worthy causes or deadly situations. I wear faces and I am also the reason why people become an ocean of expendable faceless beings. I can do good when the motive behind me is righteous and I can be just as bad when in the wrong hands.

Is it true what they say that you are the root of all evil?

Money: That probably is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Humans are evil. Resigning to greed is what causes them to do evil things. Frustration and desperation lead them to taking such vile course of action. Envy is also a driving force for people to resort to do evil. I am nothing but a banknote bearing a face value of different currencies.

To what would you like to be compared if you could be something else?

Money: I am enamoured by the notion that I am likened to fire. I could be a blessing or a curse. Use me wisely and you will be generously rewarded with freedom. Use me foolishly and you’ll be my slave for eternity. Bahahaha!

You sounded pretty evil there.

Money: My apologies, I got carried away.

Who are the Joneses and why are people trying to keep up with them? Are they related to the Kardashians?

Money: It’s not the Joneses that people should be worried about, it’s that envious neighbor next door who is buying their way into the competition. It’s the illusion of superlatives that gets people into trouble. If they can’t afford such luxuries, they commit themselves to acquiring liabilities on credit. Again, going back to what I said earlier, humans have the mistaken impression that they are paying money. The truth is that they are using up the time of their lives purchased from them for their services, and to witness them squander such priceless thing is such a tragedy. You have to realize that one day you will die, and you don’t want to spend your limited time here on this planet paying debts.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with looking good, but what’s wrong is that people attach their sense of significance to things that depreciates over time including the impression they get. If you don’t believe me buy a Ferrari, at first sight you’d likely get a wow from someone, but on the second time they do, all they see is a car.

Money: It doesn’t matter how much of me you make, what matters most is how much of me you save. This is achieved through financial literacy and attitude adjustment. People are after me and they want to dig deep in your pocket. They’ll do anything necessary to entertain you with prestidigitation or legerdemain or in Layman’s term sleight of hand. Misdirection is the best way to steal me. Understand this; you are being used as a guinea pig (no animal was harmed during this imaginary interview) These data farmers from Uranus are closely monitoring your habits which are triggered by cues and the satisfaction you get from that experience and once they identify those—viola!!! They will sell you addiction. For more details buy Charles Duhigg’s ‘Power of Habit.’ It’s a good read and a great investment. Nothing can dispel the murky wisps of impulsive buying than contentment and wisdom. Be a precognition empath by sharpening your common sense when it comes to managing your finances.

When is the best time to be financially literate?

Money: It has to start when you are young. Parents should educate their children on how to use money responsibly. Although it’s essential for any child to have an amazing childhood, they should never spoil them. They should let their children be involved in making financial decisions, so they can be trained on how to handle money sensibly. Parents should purchase generic school supplies, there is nothing in a cartoon character that will make your child study harder or will bestow them the power of comprehension. When a child learns the value of contentment and gratitude they become aware of what’s really important.

(Sigh) That somewhat cuts deep. How do we avoid pitfalls of spending wastefully?

Money: See things as you would see people. When you walk into a boutique disregard the name of the product. How would you rate its functionality because that in a sense is the very character of what you are purchasing? Mentally unbox, or unwrap, or undress (chuckling) whatever you are procuring what is its value naked?  That’s what’s wrong with humans they are obsessed with attaching value to a name made to distract them. Do you think that Jordan wore Air Jordan when he started learning to play basketball? When giving time, do you think that Rolex is more accurate than a Casio? Do you really need a phone upgrade? Do you really think people who sell you things have your best interest in mind? I didn’t think so.

How can we make purchases rationally?

Money: Before making a purchase and bid me farewell. Here are some important questions I would like you to answer:

Do I want it, or do I need it? If I need, it can it wait? If it can wait, will I still need this next week? If it can’t wait, can I purchase a used one elsewhere? Will it yield a lasting and rewarding experience? Am I being manipulated into buying this? Is it worth purchasing on credit? LET ME CUT YOU THERE; THE ANSWER IS NO!!!!!! What will this thing be worth in the next ten years? After ten years will it just sit beside that expensive Nokia phone that I bought before which resulted in me having an ulcer and which is practically has no value now? Is this something that I can use every day until it’s all worn out? Is it something I can make at home? IF YOUR ANSWER TO THIS IS YES THEN YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND! Am I buying this because I am in desperate need of attention? Is it something worth sharing? Is it an asset or a liability (backed by Robert Kiyosaki’s voice)? Am I like a moth or Icarus headed toward a flame because of the iridescent packaging? What impact will it bring in my life? I worked so hard this week and I had to deal with intense stress to earn this paycheck and I could be using my time living the dream, is this thing before me worth all that trouble? Will it help me reach my goal and be free of the rat race at last?

If the you said yes to all these questions and have gone through them a hundred more times and you are still convinced that you still want to buy this thing, then you are either making a sensible informed decision, or you are an idiot.

Any food for the thoughts before we wrap this up?

Money: There are two remarkable thoughts that I have learned from the brilliant philosopher Tamaram Niwre: the first, a good salesman will convince you to buy something with such passion, but a prolific one will sell you something that you don’t need with money that you don’t have to impress people who don’t give a damn. The second, sharpen your wits and fewer fools will line up to buy snake oil from a merchant.









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