Last weekend, I attended a reunion at my former school, where a senior suggested a shift in the school system towards emphasizing the importance of making more money. According to him, wealth equates to power, a notion that irritates some of my friends. As I thinking deeply about his ideas, I reached a different conclusion — it’s not just about making money but about creating values. In a world often fixated on material success, a pause for self-reflection on our values becomes imperative. Before learning how to make money, we must understand the essence of money itself.
What is Money?
Money, fundamentally, is a shared belief or social construct. Unlike tangible goods such as wheat or gold, money lacks intrinsic value; its worth is derived from collective agreement. This shared illusion facilitates the intricate workings of economic systems. Money’s power exists only in our conscious minds, and to children or those unfamiliar, it may merely be a piece of paper.
The Power of Values
Values like integrity, compassion, continuous learning, effective communication, and empathy are not only crucial for personal fulfillment but also essential for making a positive impact on the world. They serve as the foundation for meaningful relationships, ethical decision-making, and a sense of purpose transcending material accumulation.
Corporate Values in Action
Examining major companies and their core values reinforces this perspective:
Microsoft: Enabling computers for the common man.
Google: Making data open to everyone.
Apple: Bringing the internet to our pockets .
IBM: Focusing on smart tech and responsible business.
Tesla: Working towards saving the Earth from greenhouse gases.
A few years ago, I traveled to Rajasthan for my sister’s college admission. While she was fluent in Hindi, I could understand the language but struggled to speak it. After she was admitted, my mother and I found ourselves in a hotel one night, hungry but unsure how to purchase food because i don’t know to ask in hindi. It was a moment of realization for me about the value of effective communication surpassing the importance of money. Subsequently, I went to a restaurant where, armed with my ability to read, I perused the menu, pointed to the items, and indicated the numbers with my hands to place our order
The Role of Education
Educational institutions, as powerful influencer, should expand their curriculum to encompass not only financial literacy but also the cultivation of values. Teaching students how to navigate personal values, ethics, and empathy is an investment in a future generation capable of balancing material success with a deeper sense of purpose.
While money may serve as a means to an end, it is essential to recognize that money is merely the byproduct of the values we uphold. Our values act as the compass guiding our journey. Let us not lose sight of the profound impact our actions, driven by values, can have on our lives and the lives of those around us. In the grand tapestry of existence, both money and values have their place, and a harmonious integration of the two is the key to a truly enriching life
Rich Dad Poor Dad — Robert Kiyosaki
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind — Yuval Noah Harari
Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are solely my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of others or any affiliated entities.