“Why do you talk about money so much?”
This was a question asked to me when I was trying to describe the Empowered American Project. I am guessing many people thought it would be more “politically” driven, primarily due to the “American” part in the title as well as my own personal involvement in politics. However, the reason we “talk about money so much” has to do with self-reliance and independence. Let me explain further….
As much as some people are reluctant to acknowledge, money and having money is what makes things work in our society. I am amazed to see the current trend in politics, media and society denigrate and villainize “the rich”. All too often people associate wealth with greed. These are two totally and completely different things. This perception is also curious social phenomena. We are a people and a culture full of contradiction.
A perfect example of this was the recent Mega Millions Jackpot spectacle. People around the country waiting their turn in convenience stores to buy a ticket. Lines were trailing out doors and into parking lots. News stations filled reports of people telling their plans of what they would do with the money if they won. Mega Millions lottery officials estimated that Americans spent $1.5 billion for the chance to win the record-setting $640 million jackpot. Were these “greedy” people or were they just hoping for a better life?
Another example is the multi-billion dollar industry of books, blogs, seminars, radio shows, TV shows, DVD’s all instructing people how to better manage money and become wealthy. With such an underlying cultural disdain for “the rich”, why are so many trying to get wealthy?
The answer is, weather people want to admit it or not, money opens the doors for opportunity. This includes the opportunity to send you kids to a good school, live in a nice neighborhood, live in a nice home, afford healthy food, good health care, decent insurance and a college education for yourself or your kids. Money is simply a means to allow you and your family to be empowered and more self-reliant. Thus, being good stewards of our money is vital not only for our well being, but for our family’s quality of life.
This also includes being wealthy or rich. Again, being wealthy dosen’t equate to being greedy. Growing up, this was a hard concept for me to wrap my head around as I was brought up to believe that ”rich” were bad and had somehow swindled their money from poor unsuspecting people or by corrupt means. The reality is most wealthy people spend years accumulating their wealth, spend below their means, save and invest their money. Not as sexy as the Mega Millions dream. The traditional means of getting rich requires much more discipline and work.
I hope to provide my son with a healthy view of money and the possibilities it can hold when used wisely. I do not plan on propagating stereotypes of the rich…..or the poor for that matter. Money and the accumulation of wealth is something that we should all strive for in our journey to become empowered Americans.
An Empowered American in Training ~ Marie