Money And Its Legitimate Uses
( Originally Published Late 1800's )
The acquisition of money is not the chief end of man ; nor, on the other hand, is it to be despised. Money represents the means of physical comfort and social well-being. In our complex civilization, it rep-resents all that can minister to our physical good and the comforts with which we surround ourselves in our homes and in the other relations of life. Practically money is our greatest need, representing as it does a purchasing power over all the commodities of the world. Aside from this it furnishes the means for the exercise of some of the highest virtues with which humanity is endowed. In the accumulation of money we call into exercise the virtues of thrift, providence, economy and self-denial; in the use of it we may exercise good judgment, forethought, generosity and charity. The churches of our land, the schools with their fine libraries and appliances for the instruction of the young are lasting monuments of the right use of wealth in this country. Hospitals, Asylums, Orphanages, Homes for the old and unfortunate, proclaim the fact that our philanthropists have used the wealth of this land to a good and noble purpose. These things point to the right use of money just as dissipation, bestiality, gambling dens and haunts of vice point to the abuse of hard-earned wealth.
To possess a competency, if not a fortune, is truly a laudable ambition. A man's sphere of usefulness is always increased by a liberal share of money. Hence we hold it to be a part of our business not only to win our living by honest labor, but by thrift and industry to. lay aside a portion of our income as capital. In every earnest, high-minded man's life there will be an opportunity to use such savings for some good end. Then again we owe it to those dependent upon us to place them beyond the pale of want and starvation. And it is highly desirable that we should give them, in addition, the benefits of a pleasant home and the educational advantages of a good school and, when ready for the business of life, to give them a start for a competency of their own. We fail to see how any man can be satisfied with doing less than this for his children. There is, therefore, every good and noble incentive for us to labor diligently, husband carefully, and use well the money which we receive from our toil. Many books have been written to acquaint a curious public with the art of making money. These writers seem to think that there is some secret about making money which they alone can reveal. Now there is no secret whatever. We all labor in some way or other for wages. So much time and effort is given for so much pay. We have thus an established inšome. With this it is not a question of making a fortune, but a question of saving one. "Take care of the' pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves" is good and sage advice in this thriftless, extravagant age."
To secure independence, the practice of simple economy is all sufficient. It requires no especial courage nor any very high degree of moral virtue. It is only a. spirit of order applied to one's business affairs. It involves careful management and the systematic avoidance of waste. It is. simply the practice of self-denial applied to those things which money will buy. The whole principle is admirably expressed in the words of the great Master, when he said after the feast, Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing be lost,"
Comfort and competence are conditions which every man is justified in striving to attain by all worthy means. In the first place, these secure to him physical satisfaction, without which happiness is impossible. These conditions place a man beyond the pinchings of want. They enable him to provide for himself and. those dependent upon him, without the consumption of all that he earns in labor. They also give him mental satisfaction. For the provident and careful man must necessarily be a thoughtful man. He lives, not for the present, but for the future as well, and these con ditions assure him hope, and he can go about his labors with a cheerful and contented mind. Practice of thrift, then, is a great blessing to the individual as well as the state.. It is a source of happiness and power.