Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Qualities of Money and Transactions

The Qualities of Money and Transactions

Not all money is the same. Much depends on how you use it, the intentions you have for it, and the agreement that you have with the recipient. The money we use for purchases moves very quickly and is simply an exchange of money for goods or services of equal value as we assess it as a consumer. A purchase always happens in the present and certainly does not necessitate having a relationship with the person or store selling the goods, though it certainly adds to the quality of the process. The inner barometer of this equal exchange is the question that we seem programmed to ask ourselves: Am I getting my money's worth? This is, of course, a loaded question.

Money that we loan to someone has a different quality altogether. When you make a loan you are automatically in a mutual relationship with that person. You will find yourself interested in what they do with the money and how you will be paid back. You would likely want to help the person succeed because you are dependng on their success. The mutuality is not instantaneous as in a purchase, but rather slower as determined by the agreement which could be an hour or thirty years. The loan and its repayment is related to a financial event that happened in the past.

The third primary kind of money and transaction is one of gifts. When you make a gift you are giving up control of the money to someone else, so there is not a necesary financial relationship with the recipient. The clue to understanding probably lies in exploring what motivated the gift, and what the giver recognizes in the recipient as a capacity. Because the giver releases control of the gift it operates outside of any predictable time frame and is also subject to 100% risk. Thus gifts are related to the future; they are given to create new activity, new insights, research, artistic exploration and the like.

The qualities of money--purchase, loan and gift have direct correlation to time in the present, past and future. This is one of the small mysteries of money and its qualities as practiced in our transactions.

© 2006


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