Money Is Not an Indicator of Worth

David - About Money - September 04, 2020

What do you do for a living? What are you doing here? What's your job?

There are so many complex ways to ask one simple thing, which is:

What's your worth?

It feels like every single thing one does has to be supported by rational reasons and deep thinking. And it's become extremely common to ask people what they do for a living, although I believe that this question's become a profound source of anxiety.

That's why, in this article, I'll go about money. And more specifically, about money being an indicator of (social?) worth.

It's both worth and free, keep reading.

Money Is Not an Indicator of Worth - Illustration - Picture

Money Protects Me - Short Story

Back when I was living in Barcelona, I met a man who's become a close friend of mine. And his name is Joseph.

Joseph works as a software engineer and, to this day, he still earns a 6-digit annual salary. So I thought it could be interesting to ask him what it feels like to earn more than what 98% of other people earn, and how it plays in changing his social interactions.

Long story short, this is what he told me.

I've been through two very different phases. At first, I felt happy and proud of myself for earning that much. Then, it settled. I used money both as an indicator of people's worth, and as a way to feel smarter than everyone in the room. For instance, if someone had told me that I was wrong, I used to remain silent and think to myself that anyway, I earned more than this person, hence I'm superior.

Eventually, I realized it was a pretty bad way to interact with other people, and it was extremely noxious. Money doesn't define people, and it doesn't mean I'm different by any means. Once I stopped thinking of money as a worth indicator, I could enjoy healthier relationships, and meet nice people who earned close to nothing.

I don't earn that much, yet I learned a life lesson from that deep conversation.

And that's what I'll be sharing with you further.

Money Is Not an Indicator of Worth - Illustration - Picture

Money Is Not a Ranking System

It's simple. Money doesn't define you.

No matter how much you earn:

  • You can still learn from anybody, regardless of how much they earn.

  • You won't be happier than anybody, regardless of how much you earn.

  • You won't be either smarter or funnier or socially-worthier than anybody, regardless of how much you earn.

That's the cold truth.

Money changes virtually nothing to how you interact with people. And neither does your job.

Money is a tool that helps you live in better and healthier conditions. But when it comes to making friends, money won't help unless it is for charity.

However, getting money out of the equation doesn't solve everything. Let's see how to strike a balance.

Money Is Not an Indicator of Worth - Illustration - Picture

Colombian Coffee - Another Story About Money

I recently met Margo, who's a barista here in Sofia. She told me to come to the place she works at, and try the coffee. I politely told her that I hate coffee, but that I'd be glad to come and visit her.

I found my way through the crooked streets, and reached Margo's workplace. I had met her only once, yet she greeted me with a huge smile and a small hug. And as we talked, she went about her job.

Some people are businessmen, lawyers, doctors. And here I am, a barista. I love my job, I'm truly passionate about coffee, and I earn enough to sustain myself and go out from time to time.

Thirty minutes later, still talking, and sipping a wonderful Colombian Coffee that she had suggested to me.

I then let her work and climbed up to the floor. And I thought to myself, that was a lovely moment. Not only that, but I also admired the way she cared about serving me a good coffee while taking into account my pickiness and tastes.

I couldn't stop thinking about that simple moment in which I had learned so much yet so little about her and her work.

Money Is Not an Indicator of Worth - Illustration - Picture

Bottom Line

All in all, what makes your worth, and good, solid, and healthy relationships is people, not money. Good intentions, kind attention, deep conversations, facial expressions. All these things are the base upon which social interactions build and escalate.

Money alone won't make you happier. Your passions, interests, and friends will.

Have you ever had a "Colombian Coffee" moment? Please feel free to share it in the comments!

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