I have been called cheap, tight with my money, and destitute, but I don’t feel like any of those things though. I have also been called generous, and I feel as though I live in abundance and in wealth.  I am very thankful for the prosperity I live in here in the most advanced civilization of human history. I recognize that I live in an amazing country and time, and I feel the wealth of this country and know that I live like a king, and my family does live in abundance. So why am I seen as cheap or, as I like to say to my friends and family, frugal? I believe it is because I am being the change I want to see in our social systems. Allow me to explain this a bit better here and write about my thoughts and beliefs on money, trade and some of the errors of modern society around the topic of money.

Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see”, and I see a real need for changes in how we use money. Thus, I try to live with money how I believe it is meant to be used. Money is a tool of exchange, a standard for trade that we as a society can agree upon and use across a wide range of uses and needs among people, institutions and governments. Money has allowed our society to grow into the prosperous and comfortable civilization we now know. Not just money though, also creativity, passion, drive and intelligence have been vital players in the advances we now enjoy on a regular basis. So this standardized tool of exchange, a human invention, combined with some of humanity’s powerful and natural abilities has created wealth, abundance and comfort for a majority of people. I am thankful for this.

Money has also become a huge source of human suffering and pain in the form of corruption, greed and destruction to the environment. I believe that the misuse of money is now being felt and seen by everyone, which also means that there is a correct use for this tool– money. As I watch money being used in my society, I can see the various places where money is causing harm through its improper use. Money is misused in medicine, food production, and by police and justice mainly. These important areas of modern living are big enough to cause huge reverberations throughout society, civilization and time. We are the micro expressions of their existence and with conscious, intelligent and loving thought, they can be changed. I believe that with proper use, money can be a useful tool in human experience, not the destructive force it seems to be now.

Maybe, to understand money, and its proper use, we need to have a quick look at the history of money. Where did it come from, for instance? I think that the first use of money was with governments crafting ways to fund their big projects. When government could not use slaves for projects, they creatively invented money. This is what I believe money is properly used for: the creation and production of big projects. These ideas will raise many questions in the minds of those using money, but please take the time to answer them with me.

For instance, who controls the money in these big projects? Government, or corporations? What big projects are going to be made, and for whose gain? These are big questions, and we can start to discuss their best answers now and come up with answers soon. Meanwhile, I am going to live with money properly, I am trying to not use money, except with bigger projects. This is hard to do, because I need to use money to buy my food, and that is one of the areas of life that I believe with which money should not be involved. The reason for this is obvious when you look and see what big business did with food and what industrial farming is doing to the Earth. Both are big project energies that are energized or fueled with money. Thus, I reason that food should stay in the hands of the small, the local, the personal and intimate, where fair trade for one of life’s necessities can be made.

I don’t want to be paying for my medicine or health either. When you start to charge money for medicine and personal health, you market this service with illness and weakness; dependence for good health on someone, or in modem medicine’s case, something else. As valuable as good health and modern medicine are, the people who specialize in that service for their society are to be traded with on an individual, personal and intimate level. I also don’t want to pay for my personal safety nor the justice I may need. For the same reasons, that you sell these services with fear, ignorance and control, these services can not be bought, they are given, and must include the personal and intimate levels of need and resolution. You can not buy justice, justice is served.

The same with counselling, which is really psychic health, I want to offer my services for trade, not for profit. I use money because it is convenient and useful as trade in our money driven society. I do not offer my counselling services as a means to make money, I make money because I offer my counselling services. I try to use trade for my everyday life as much as I can, and this is getting easier every year. We are getting more aware of this as we witness the destructive power of allowing money to control so many many aspects of society. People are reclaiming from money- or big business- the personal and intimate level of exchange in our daily lives.

This is why I look cheap, I am reluctant to get too heavily involved in the money game. Unless  I am creating something big, in which I will use money to compensate a team of people for their time and effort, otherwise I want to use trade for my daily living.  Trade won’t get you rich, but it will get you what you need. Here we learn the difference between wants and needs. Your wants are anything you desire beyond your needs, and your needs are those things in life that help maintain your standard of life. My needs are simple, I need a home for shelter, clothes for safety and security and social acceptance, food for health and bodily maintenance, and people to share my love and life with. I want to serve my community with the knowledge I have about feelings, emotions, consciousness, spirit and the ego, and to practice patience, empathy, compassion, intuition and insights for the community I serve. I also want to explore this great and wonderful world, to see more of it and meet more of the people of this amazing planet.

Like what you read? Sign up for Chris’s monthly newsletter, the Wellness Cafe that explores the latest insights in psychology, spirituality, relationships and the journey of building an intentional community. Chris R. is a trans-personal psychology pioneer in mental health practices and alternative relationship coach. He lives and works in BC at the Wellness Cafe, a non-profit organization bringing high quality alternative mental health services to the public at affordable costs. Continue to conversation and find Chris on Telegram or Librti.com