Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

Pebble stackI think we’ve all heard the saying that “Money is the root of all evil”.  Many people don’t know that this is in the Bible and that it actually says “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil”.  This is very different.  The Bible also says you can’t serve two masters (one being money) and that you will be enslaved by that which you serve.  How has this impacted my writing?  First, I think I’m like most contemporary North Americans in that for most of my life I didn’t feel like I did have a love of money, nor did I feel like I was a slave to anyone or anything.  My belief system until the last decade was that humans are intrinsically good and that our purpose in life is to become ‘self-actualized’ and that truth was relative.

With that belief system, it was easy to become dependent on money, without feeling mastered by it.  I believed that money was necessary to achieve my goals and that if earning some money was good, earning more must be better and that would get me to my goals all the faster.  Somehow, without noticing when, where or how, I had begun to believe that MONEY would provide me security, safety and self-actualization.  Money was the ends, and my vocation was the means.  This quickly led to a deep-seated financial insecurity and fear about what would happen if I didn’t have that job, and that money, which led to making choices both personally and professionally, in order to minimize that fear.  I consistently put my dreams and passions (like writing) on hold in order to do the ‘responsible’ thing; ie the thing that would bring me the most money.  I never for a second thought I was being mastered by money, I thought I was providing for myself and doing a pretty good job.  The first sign of an addiction, however, is if it is disrupting your peace of mind and if your tolerance grows and you need more and more in order to be satisfied.  Sure enough, I had willingly become enslaved.  Ouch!

I am truly grateful that there is a mechanism within my faith system that specifically addresses how we look at money.  It’s called giving, or generosity.  The idea is to change your perspective to one of stewardship.  We are stewarding resources for a Higher Power, and we are expected to be doing good things with these resources.  This does not imply that we shouldn’t have resources, but that we should be using them to bless others.  This changes everything!  Suddenly, money is the means, not the ends!  How we earn it can be as important as how much we have and what we do with it is most important yet!  Hoarding is the equivalent of gluttony and excess is really just stupid when you truly understand this.  Even better, we are hard wired with a mechanism that makes it feel really good to be generous.   When you think about what is really good for us (and for our species) it is amazing that all of it is actually also pleasure-inducing.  Well,  so is giving people money (or time, or baked goods)!  Yes, doing bad things can be temporarily pleasurable, but doing the right thing infinitely more so.  Anyone who has found their passion and pursued it can confirm that it ‘feels right’ and anyone who is enslaved to a high paying job they hate will also confirm that it ‘feels wrong’. Almost like it was planned that way…

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