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The thing about money




In my monetary musings I wonder if there is any subject that evokes more controversial and contradictory emotions than money.  Clichés abound across a world divided into haves and havenots. 

And while poverty is an enormous challenge, the Talmud teaches that the test of wealth is greater because it is a gift from G-d, with strings attached and doesn’t ever really belong to us. We are merely His agents and need immense wisdom and humility to understand how best to use it. 

Those who don’t have money believe it can solve their every problem, while those who do, know that it can’t.

In fact, it can create its own set of challenges for people who pursue it to the exclusion of everything else. Money frees and enslaves us all at once. Some betray their morality and even commit crimes to obtain it; stories are written about it; success is measured against it and many believe that it really is what makes the world go round.

And can one ever really have enough of it? As we acquire more of it, our needs grow, our tastes refine and there will always be the next innovation, improvement or challenge. “Put your money where your mouth is” has become the ultimate yardstick of integrity. It is said that the truest measure of character involves how we choose to react in the face of the loss of money.  

We all know that the value of money is unreliable and uncertain. Determined by global markets, we have little control over it; a large fortune today can be a small one tomorrow. And of course, no-one can take it with them when they leave this world. Only our good deeds accompany us.  

Although money can’t buy love, health or happiness, one eight-year-old donor gave me a little blackboard that said: “Money can buy happiness if you give it away.” And that seems to be the crux of the matter.

Judging by the Gates, Buffet, Rockefeller families, and our own magnificent community, giving it away looks like the ultimate expression of financial success.

As guardians of our community, the Chev appreciates all too well the huge responsibility we have to ensure that money gets to the people who need it. We also know that it actually does make the world go round. At least our corner of it!

May our partnership continue to thrive!

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