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April 21, 2009

Money and meaning

Lux small  

Do we spend money because we want meaning?

Does the one cancel out the other?

When is spending time and money a good investment?

Chris Brogan and Bono have asking some big meaty questions. They're questions to be asked and answered.

When we spend for functionality, how exactly does that help in the long term? Organizations, brands, us - we're part of a bigger and more connected network now.

Everything's transparent. It's time to reconcile money and meaning, and to do so overtly in the way we manage ourselves.

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Agree- we spend money for things that we want far more than for those that we strictly speaking need. Example- we need clothing, but we don't walk around in flour sacks.

We spend money for meaning, for deep connection and for affinity. Fortunately, at this point in time these seem to be experiencing a resurrection at the same time as "y'all come" advertising is fading in importance.

The philosophical question that you pose,
”Do we spend money because we want meaning?“ indeed touches the base of our society, Anne. Does spending money cancel out meaning? When is spending (time and) money a good investment?

What meaning do we draw from spending money anyway?

I know this: there is no soul in money. Spending money however, can be a meaningful, if not spiritual act, as long as you go within yourself before spending it. Since time immemorial the Ojibwe Anishinaabeg, as they traditionally regard themselves as part of this big connected interrelational network they call the world, have a set of values known as the Seven Grandfathers: seven leading thoughts that are supposed to precede all thought and action.

The first Grandfather is respect, the second Grandfather is love, the third Grandfather is truth, the fourth Grandfather is wisdom, the fifth Grandfather is bravery, the sixth Grandfather is honesty and the seventh Grandfather is humility.

It seems to me that money spent in accordance with these seven principles is money spent wisely. Spending money thus becomes the same as making deep investments. (As soon as we all understand this, the Eight Grandfather has come to live amongst us.)

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