2017-08-09 / Editorials

Mike Reese

“I was just thinking”

We’ve all heard and repeated the often quoted Bible verse, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Everyone knows that money can be burdensome for humanity. There was once a TV preacher, Reverend Ike, who might still be conning, I meant TV preaching. I used to watch his program for entertainment on an Augusta station, before I became wealthy in channels. But, think about this. One of Reverend Ike’s favorite lines was that “the LACK of money is really the root of all evil.” The bank robber didn’t rob the bank because he already had too much money. The banker didn’t embezzle a million dollars because she had too much money. The eight year old didn’t shoplift a Snicker bar because he already had a dozen Snickers stashed. So up to a point, Reverend Ike was correct. But despite a person not having enough money, there’s never a legitimate reason to rob a bank, embezzle, or shoplift.

But I’d bet that you, like me, dream sometimes about having lots of money. And, like so many issues, having or not having money is relative. Some people, for instance, might think that many others live like kings, never worrying about money. Not true, in most cases. On a personal level, my money compared to President Trump’s money is like a grain of sand (mine) relative to an entire beach (the President’s). At least that’s what the President says and, so far, I’ve never known this President to lie. After all, he’s on record saying “I’m, like rich, really, really rich.”

Having more money won’t cause us to love or be loved by our family or our friends. But, I’d bet that a third cousin who finds you to be suddenly rich, would also find you, now more lovable. It won’t make me smarter or more handsome. LOL. Strike the word more. But, having lots of money would give us one thing for certain, if we handled the money sensibly. That thing that we’d have more of would be freedom.

We’d all be free to not have to postpone a much needed house repair because the car needed more urgent repairs. We’d all be free to go to Disneyworld for seven days instead of Six Flags for the day. We would be free to pay a bill ahead of its due date, and not have to dread opening “past due” notices. We’d be free to pay that hospital bill and not have to divide it into several, or many, payments. We’d be free to have a credit card burning ceremony. We’d all be free (and happier probably) to finally make decisions without finances always having to be considered.

I’ve preached enough for now. But being financially responsible, which leads to financial freedom, is an important skill that should be taught regularly by our families and schools. I have to go now. I’ve got to buy a Powerball Freedom ticket. See you in the dreaming line, the happy line, the freedom line. Lightning just might strike, and we might be third or fourth cousins.

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