Business · Life · Money

Why we are slaves to money: 3 reasons

We are all slaves in this day and age.

Have you ever met one?

They are lifeless in their eyes, you can see it. The poor souls, they wander. They don’t make decisions: their masters do. There is only one thought on their mind: How do I survive today?

Back then, working was living.

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be one back in the olden days?

It was a crueler world. How the slaves came to be, the circumstances vary. Discrimination by cultural background, the color of your skin, religious factors, etc. it could be many things combined. Maybe it was war or the product of victory. It doesn’t sound like a victory if people’s lives are being controlled, but that’s a story for another day.

One thing is for sure: money is at play here. Some way or another, money was one of the largest influential factors in creating slaves.

Whether it was earning or receiving money, all slaves struggle to gain a bit of coin. The masters, they bark at their slaves for not toiling hard enough on site. They berate the poor souls for not working 25 in a 24-hour day.

All is hell for slaves who toil, they who may not see the light of anything else. Their days stay miserable.

All is heaven for those who become masters. They earn everything from doing nothing.

They bark orders from a nice comfortable chair, telling their workers what they can and can’t do.

One thing is for sure: the slaves did not want to be what they were. They wanted a living, start a family, be satisfied with what they have, and live a good life.

All good men and women deserve more time to themselves, staying away from the constraints of life.

That is why they work hard: so that they can buy out their freedom.

How great would it be to earn a living whilst working less. How great would it be to have a life like the master.

They have thoughts like these circling in their head all the time. I don’t want those thoughts. I don’t want to be a slave.

I’m not sure about everyone else, but I want to be the master (no, I don’t mean owning slaves). I want to have that comfortable chair and not worry about anything, because other people are doing my work for me, willingly. I want them to smile doing good work for me.

I don’t want to work for somebody else’s dream, I have mine to work on.

In other news, money buys your life.

Enough talk about the past. How different are we now?

Nowadays, it’s just the same.

We do have slaves, and we do have masters.

Except, we are the slaves and the numbers in our bank account, our masters.

We work hard to earn a living, only for the numbers to dictate what we can do with our lives. We stay back in the office at the cost of quality time with our families, because we need the money. We want to do something, but we can’t because of how thin our wallets are.  If that isn’t unfortunate I don’t know what else to call it.

All these fun and wonderful things you do, and money can bite you:

  • Want to buy a new car? Work overtime, get a loan, get the car, and spend time paying back the debt.
  • Want to travel the world? Tickets. Accommodation. Visa. Spending money. Souvenirs. Food.

The list goes on.

Money talks. Money buys you freedom. Money gives you time, money gives you chances.

At the same time, money takes away all these things if you don’t treat it well. It’s an attention seeker: it’ll find ways to make you desperate, looking for it, just so you can have more of these things.

Money provides you all these treasures, but you need to know how to use it.

Once you do, the roles will be reversed: we become the masters, and money our slaves.

With enough hard work, you can buy out your freedom.

My relationship with the coin.

I love money. We all do. We use it to buy our coffee, go on adventures, buy gifts for our family and friends.

I use it to buy books. I also use it to buy electronics (got a new phone!). I’m saving money for traveling this year, so I can spend it on doing stuff foreigners do in foreign countries (aka. being a tourist). I spent money to have this post published out there. It’s great, it makes me happy. Having readers makes me happy.

I also hate money. I have to pay my bills with my livelihood, and I have to work long hours to cover for transport costs. I need to throw money at my projects to keep them alive. I wish they’d stay alive themselves.

I hate spending money to buy coffee. I love coffee, I hate money. Why can’t it be free? I also hate having to worry about money when I’m with my friends. I just want to be with friends, why does money have to come into play?

Without money, you wouldn’t be able to read these words. I want you to read my words, so I used my own pocket money to make that happen.

Now you’re here, and I have a smile on my face as I realize that. I thank you. My pocket’s getting thinner though. It was worth it.

There are 3 main reasons why we toil ourselves after money:

1. We put money above our lives, not the other way round.

aka. The “Money-over-all” Way of Thinking.

We have grown up thinking the above.

Since money brings success to life, our lives are not successful until we have loads of money.

One of the largest factors is this naturally supported notion that current society likes to remind us every time. You can see it from all the media: rich businessmen buying more luxuries, football players buying more houses, getting into X career will give you loads of income.

Yes, money was what helped them look successful. And yes, we came to the conclusion that it was so.

Rich = Successful = Happy

Not going to lie, I’m jealous of all these rich people getting what they want. 

But I want to propose a different notion:

Happy = success (repeat), rich (optional)

No amount of money is going to help you make beautiful memories with your friends and family, unless you will it so. I can have a million dollars, put it away, and still have a great conversation with my family. That, to me, is being happy, and therefore being successful.

Similarly, I can have some money (not in millions), and putting it aside reassures me that I’m safe financially. I can live a normal life finding happiness, without money being ever a problem: That is true success.

2. We have objectified our happiness.

Have you ever tried going phoneless? I have, for a few days.

It doesn’t sound hard, right? A few days? It was 4 days actually, Friday to Monday. I had work, the weekend, and then back to work again.

It was glorious. I felt happier doing things more to myself than worrying about the rest of the world.

I was annoyed at first, then became used to it. Now even if I have a new phone, I don’t use it so often. I have better things to do: Writing. Reading. Working out. Playing with the dogs.

Because technology became ubiquitous with our daily lives, we’ve started to create this emotional connection with material objects. There’s this affection for what we have: phones, laptops, clothes. We evoke a feeling when they are tampered with, more than what is happening around us now.

Due to that, our happiness starts to stem from these objects. These ‘things’. The thing you’re holding in your hand became your source of happiness. Not your thoughts, your memories, your experiences or your friendships.

Maybe we might argue that with technology, we can keep in contact with our loved ones easier, I would agree. We can. Is it worth then, to be online 24/7, absorbing all the negativity happening around the world, so you can keep in contact?

Most people can’t ignore it, because of their willingness to be on social media. We can contact our friends all over the world. Through doing that, we become exposed to things that affect our happiness. Wars, terrorist attacks, disasters, political tension.

Our happiness became synonymous with what we are doing with our phones. Our news feeds made us bloated with information. In the end, even our egos become affected by what is happening around the world.

Most, if not all, forms of objectified happiness then become enabled into your life through money. Money exposes the most vulnerable of us to the world.

That could be a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, your happiness became tied with what you do with your money.

3. We’ve lost our sense of time.

There is no substitute for happiness. There is no substitute for time.

You’ve probably heard of carpe diem often in this generation. Seizing the day may be nice, ie. making the most of the time that you have, but how do you do it?

We were never taught how to seize the day. It just became motivation to get by each day. Until you have a goal to achieve and are willing to put time and effort into it, every day may just be like any other.

By then, we have lost the value of our time. Money became valuable because it can buy us time, but if we did not make the most of it, how do we justify earning money in the first place?

The time that you spend hanging out with your friends? We may spend it on technology instead.

The time you could use to plan for your future and life goals? It might be used to regret what we’ve done in the past instead.

We could learn something new and build upon our knowledge. Instead, we stick with what we’re used to, repeating the old and outdated. This could be methods, ways of thinking, or opinions that promote a closed-minded approach.

We could meditate, and develop ourselves over time. We could read books on the stories of many amazing people. Instead, we ignore the wisdom of others and slowly waste our time as a result. Lessons could have been learned earlier, warnings could have been given beforehand.

How does money come into this?

We’ve spent our time doing things that harm us, deferring us from our minds wandering and being creative. Our purchases enabled us to do so. Our money then becomes synonymous with what we do with our time.

We’ve used our money the wrong way to gain a different value of time. Money can enable us to do better things with our time, but forget the importance of it and we’re losing control of what we can do every second. Having no balance between these two just breaks us apart in the end.

We became slaves to our money, forgetting how important time meant to us.

So I ask you again.

We are all slaves in this day and age.

Have you ever met one?

Look in the mirror. You might see it. There might be chains from the wallet in your pocket. Shackles from your credit card.

You might have to stay overtime in the office instead of being with your family.

You might have realized that you smile more often from your phone than with your friends.

You might be racking up debts that you have to pay back.

Here’s a small piece of advice:

Put yourself before anyone. Do what you want to do. Take back your time. Be rich that way.

Plan accordingly. Everything will work out. You will be the master, and money will be your slave. Don’t make money control your life.

It’s a never-ending battle, I know. But you need to win.

It’s your life you’re fighting for.

Then, money will smile and say,

“You’ve finally beat the game.”

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