“So if one doesn’t know how to make use of it, Critobulus, then money must be kept at such a distance that it isn’t even included among one’s assets.”
Socrates, in The Estate Manager, by Xenophon
This time of year a credit card can seem to take on a life of its own. It’s like a badly trained dog: we tell ourselves that it does what we command it to do.
But too often our card ends up being an incarnation of desires that it would have been better for us to curb. Part of this problem is in how we think about money. Current understanding and practice encourage us to think of our money as fundamentally our own and for us, and its use as subject to our whims and desires. In the view of most people—including many with traditional moral values—as long as we are not patently profligate with our money, or using it for morally evil purposes, then it is just fine to use it any way we see fit….
Please go here to the Porch Republic where I have posted a reflection on taking a new approach to money in our households, with a memorable lesson from Almanzo’s father in Farmer Boy.
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Husband, father, and professor of Philosophy. LifeCraft springs from one conviction: there is an ancient wisdom about how to live the good life in our homes, with our families; and it is worth our time to hearken to it. Let’s rediscover it together. Learn more.
Great perspective this time of year. It’s so hard to resist over-gifting! And really the best gifts are always those of ourselves.
Thanks Nell. I love your way of putting it: ‘over-gifting.’ It can sneak up on us because it seems to be so right–to give to others. But we need to look again at just how and what to give to those we love.
Thanks John great post. The story about Almonzo’s dad was a great reminder of the value of money. I pray you and your family have a wonderful Advent season.
Thank you Rick. I really love that story of Almanzo’s dad too.