- Standard of Business
- Producing Real Value
- The Harming of Others
- Directed Passion and Hard Work
- The Handshake
- Misdirection and Deception
- Partnerships of Trust
- Amorality of Money
- Money: A Means, Not an End
- The Great Liege Lord: Greed
- Human Relationships, Not Numbers
- Losing with Honor
- The Trap of Zero-Sum Thinking
- Align or Die!
- Creating Shared Stakeholder Value
- Capitalism: The Powers of Good and Evil
- Guarding Growth
Money is an interesting thing. Originally developed to allow for time-shifting and product-shifting in a barter-based trading society, it’s now become so much a part of our everyday lives that many measure everything by it.
To get an understanding of its omnipresence, consider all of the words we have that mean money in our language used in both formal and informal speech. Some of them include:
Many of us are told from the time we are young that:
Money is the root of all evil.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
Notice it’s the love of money, not money itself, that is called out as the problem. Money is just an object, a tool. Nothing states this so eloquently as the following excerpt from Douglas Adam‘s fantastical space romp, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Speaking of the Earth, he wrote:
This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
Money is amoral (not to be confused with immoral).
|“being neither moral nor immoral; specifically : lying outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply”||“not moral; broadly : conflicting with generally or traditionally held moral principles”|
People often get confused on this fine point, an here is why:
What I do with money is not amoral.
What I do with money certainly has moral and ethical consequences, as money spent or given will ultimately support practices, processes, beliefs and results.
So, I must be careful where and how I spend my money and make my investments. I cannot blame money for the ills of the world, but I certainly have a case against the greed, avarice and love of money that causes many great injustices and terrors to be unleashed on the world.
That’s yet another reason the phrase “It’s only business” is so problematic. No, there are consequences to how and where we move money. Real consequences that effect real people and real environments. One cannot simply abdicate responsibility for the ultimate consequences of their decisions, especially when those consequences can be seen or intuited beforehand.
Simply put, money is amoral, but what I do with it is not.
Let us each make good decisions of where and how we send out our money to work for us. We are, after all, responsible for the consequences.