This week, a colleague wrote, “Follow the money and you’ll find the power.” This sounded cynical to me and I smartly wrote back that we all had some money, and together we had a lot, so awesome! we have a lot of power.
But I can tell there is more in this encounter for me to learn. One of the ways I learn is by writing; maybe one of the ways you learn is reading what I write. I hope so.
Right now, it is hard not to be cynical about money and power. Together. That unhappy marriage that they make is making the news. It’s a marriage of convenience, neither money nor power really like each other. They just stick together because they are insecure alone.
How many of us are insecure alone? And grab for money or power to make us feel better? Or grab for our identity as lacking money or power?
Let’s stop doing that. Let’s affirm we have the money we have and work to disentangle it in our imaginations from the power we have. Fannie Lou Hamer will soon have her 100th birthday. Black Lives Matter is ever more in our minds. Brave–I would say noble–men who play football are “taking the knee” rather than stand for the national anthem. Let’s do some RAISING CLARITY: what is power, really?
And what does it have to do with money?
Money is a shortcut to short-term power. But over time, it isn’t a shortcut to anything. It doesn’t keep you from getting sick, growing old, or dying, which Buddha recognized as three causes of suffering. We can
- dislike and in other ways
- separate ourselves
from people we think have more money than we do. But it will not make us purer than they are. It may however make us poorer than they are and it may very well keep us from seeing our own power as well as our own money.
Let us be thoughtful and honest with ourselves about who has money (we do) and who has power (we do). Let’s indeed “follow the money” to our own power.