So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Saturday, January 3, 2015
Money and Me
I have a hard time understanding how money motivates people. Now I know all too well about being motivated by not having enough. If the kids are missing meals something has to be done. If I have enough for my basic needs and bit extra for play money, I'm rich indeed. The actual numbers don't mean anything to me.
At a party the other night people were talking about what they'd be willing to do for a million dollars. I felt that if it was too degrading to do for $50, it was still too degrading for a million. No one else saw it that way.
Recently I was talking to some people who've moved into the area. They'd head about a guy with some unusual skills. As it turns out I was that guy. There are only a handful of people in the world with the same skill set. Once in a while I get to use my skills and that often saves people thousands of dollars. It doesn't take me all that long and I'm happy to accept donations. My new friend was appalled I would accept so little. It's possible that I could turn my skills into a business, but that's not how I want to operate.
So I'm a terrible businessman, big deal. I'd rather have friends that a big bank account. When a buddy is willing to come out on a cold snowy day to help me change trailer bearings, that's more valuable to me than money. I'm a big believer in the gift economy.
Now for some people wealth is just a game and money is the way they keep score. That I kinda get. When I play games I play to win. It just so happens that I'd rather play chess than stocks. To each their own.
One of the more compelling arguments for having a few bucks salted away is the concept of F*ck You money. The idea is that if your boss is giving you a hard time you can just say FU and walk away. One of the guys I used to work with had made some very successful investments. I think he went to work just because he liked it. The guy was very good at his job, but only because he wanted to be. Management was afraid of him. On the rare occasion when they told him to do something he thought was stupid he just didn't do it. His boss would then act like the order was never given.
I got along well with that guy and really liked his attitude. I realized I'd most likely never have a big cushion of money to land on. That doesn't mean I couldn't have the same attitude. All it took was a lack of fear and trust that maybe the universe would reward the bold. One of the weird side effects of that attitude is that some folks just assumed I must have a pile of money hidden away somewhere.
There are fictional examples of people who've put vast wealth to good use: Bruce Wayne became Batman and Tony Stark became Iron Man. Frankly, Bill Gates has been a huge disappointment.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.