…not for love nor money.
“I wouldn’t do it for love nor money!”
I have heard that statement a great many times over the course of my 46 years. Usually, I laugh when someone says that. But today, I am realizing that funny little statement holds a lot of water.
It is a measure of importance. How bad must something be if you wouldn’t do it for “love nor money”? Love and money must be the two most important things ever. They must be the two best things in a person’s life. Heck, The two greatest things in most everyone’s life for it to be a standardized statement, right?
So, you would think that in this standard of measure, we would list these things in the order of their importance. Since love is listed first, it would seem that it would be the very most important thing. Money second…and as those two things go, I completely agree. Love first…money second.
However, in all of my years on this planet, I will say that I found that particular order of words is not really accurate. Why is that?
I have seen the best of friendships be dissolved for money. I have seen families torture one another and divide for money. I have seen children and parents and partners and siblings be thrown to the side, all for money. Why? Is money better? Does it comfort? Does it hug? Does it listen to your ramblings? Does it care if you are hurting? No it doesn’t. So why is it better?
It’s better because money is easier.
Love is work. Love is hard, complicated and ugly. Love is a hard line to walk. When you got it, it is fabulous and it feels better than any high thread count sheet. It is better than any high priced meal and it is more beautiful than any million dollar work of art. As my angels once told me when I asked if all of the struggle was worth it….” anything worth having is worth the work”
They are correct….again. 🙂
Love is difficult and easy to throw away and the “root of all evil” gives folks a “legitimate” reason to do it. People are able to justify their actions for money. People are able to do a great many hurtful things in the name of money. Because, even though most people will be shocked or offended when they hear of the wicked deed…they understand deep inside. Behind their expressions of outrage, you will see a glint of understanding…it is money after all.
It has been my experience that greed and pride end up in sorrow. We have seen it time and time again. We have to watch it a hundred times at Christmas with the one hundred versions of Scrooge. I mean, Martha Stewart had to go to prison to give us a prime real life example, for Heaven’s sake.
Everyday I have people sit across from me and tell me terrible stories of being cheated out of money by people they love. They cry and can’t believe how this once important person has chosen money over their love. How could anyone be so heartless? Why couldn’t it have been talked out? Where was the love?
Why couldn’t love have saved it all? What made love the second most important thing? What is a new car or a new deck or a new set of clothing compared to an old friend that really cares sitting beside you in your time of need?
I suppose you can always get more love. I suppose you can always get new friends. But really, when there is someone who knows you inside and out and STILL wants to be around you….listen honey, you better hold on TIGHT. Money will NOT buy you anything like that.
Please, don’t misunderstand me and think that I am saying that it is okay for people to take advantage of you and your money. It is not okay for anyone to disrespect, devalue or compromise you for any reason. If you feel that someone is doing that, then YOU come from LOVE and discuss it, without fighting, without insult, without ugliness.
Back in my days of working in a non-profit, I was taught an important formula for communication.
State what happened
State how it made you feel
State what you would like to see happen.
Sally has asked Janey to pay for her dinner for the third time this week. Janey is starting to feel a little pissy about the whole thing. She had other plans for that money and wouldn’t have gone out to eat with Sally if she had known that Sally was low on funds. So instead of calling Sally a big mooch behind her back and building up negative energy toward Sally…Janey could say directly to Sally…
State what happened: Sally, we have been to dinner three times this week and all three times you have asked me to pay for dinner.
State how it makes you feel: It makes me feel unappreciated and taken advantage of.
State what you want to see happen: I want to spend time with you because I love you. If you don’t have the money for it, please just tell me and we can do something that doesn’t cost so much or maybe I will have extra sometimes and can afford us both. Does that sound okay?
So, if Sally is any kind of friend, she will not like that she has caused her friend to feel bad. She should should also be grateful that Janey loves her so much that she will confront the problem directly with her and not stab her in the back to Becky and Cindy. Hopefully they will continue to be BFF’s for years to come and sing at one another’s weddings.
I know it isn’t as simple as all that, but really love can simplify a great many things, and so can some well thought out communication.
Love is everything.