(noun, etymology Dutch from ‘boedel’: estate, possession, inheritance, stock.). 1. Crowd, pack, lot, as in ‘the whole boodle.’ 2. a. Counterfeit money b. Money acquired or spent illegally or improperly, particularly when used in bribery for political purposes. 3. Slang for money in general.

Money Kool-Aid

Posted on: May. 30, 2012  |  By: Ronnie Kahn  |  Category: Advice, Boodle-cise, General

This blog is supposedly concerned with fairness and helping others.  Is this just about our (my) need to make ourselves feel better about whom we think we are?  When it comes right down to it, aren’t we are all just looking out for number one, especially in relation to money?

When investment advisors interview some of the wealthy class, especially those that made it big while they were young, think Silicon Valley types, there is a common “been there, done that” refrain.  Money, they tell us, is an empty thing.  After success is reached, it quickly becomes more about making a difference, doing something lasting, helping to make the world a better place and so on.

So if money is a liquid asset that we are told it is, than what does it consist of?  If we break it down, the money Kool-Aid recipe is part water, part nectar, part bourbon, and one part secret ingredient.  First, to drink the Kool-Aid is to drink of the illusion of money which is, after all what it is, a collective deception.  You can say that money changes hands, so to speak, by sleight-of-hand.  It may be an illusion but it is our illusion, of course.  As for the individual components of our drink, water is part of who we are on both the inside and the outside.  There are even geo-political conflicts with water.  I live in the San Fernando Valley which has often been accused of diverting water away from the Central Valley of California for its own thirsty desires.  If you don’t like it, well forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.  So money, as water, is what we are made of and like it or not, it is part and parcel of our social lives.

Next on the list is nectar.  Money can help provide us with untold pleasure but it also has an addictive side.  When money, or pleasure, becomes a means to an end than you are most likely in store for a ride on the downward spiral.  Speaking of downward spirals, Bourbon, our next ingredient, can take the edge off or can be the edge of a cliff where gravity rules.

In all of these previous ingredients, from a grammatical perspective, money is either a subject or object.   This translates to that we can make money a means to an end by finding ways to get and keep it, we can let it define ourselves by being repelled or being attracted to it, and/or we can tell ourselves that there is more to life than money and that you are not falling for its seductive tricks.  We often tell ourselves that money is either good or evil.  The meaning of money is put into a context of whether we are convinced in the negative that we are selfish beings or whether we can overcome that in the positive by helping and caring about others while somehow removing ourselves from money’s grip.  This is not a sound way to frame money’s social impact though.  For this pair of opposites omits that last and most important ingredient of our Kool-Aid.  Okay, you knew I would break down and tell you the secret ingredient all along.  That ingredient is Red Bull, the energy drink.

So returning to the original question about whether individuals are doing it for themselves or doing it in order to make things better, some might say that it is a little of each as no one is completely selfish or completely altruistic.  A more important perspective on money doesn’t treat money by each person’s own selfish or selfless way of seeing it though.  It doesn’t treat money as subject, or self, nor as object, as something that is to be sought after or accumulated for its own sake but money is treated for the immense and awesome power that it is, a verb.

Joseph Campbell called money “congealed energy.”  This enormous energy powers every part of the world it touches.  When a city is young, a business develops and that business trades its product outside of the city.  Within the city, new businesses form to help supply those developing business.  As each of these businesses start to grow, the city may import products of its own to satisfy the demand of the flourishing individuals behind the new businesses.  The new businesses may than start exporting products of their own.  In this way, business is built on business.  Economists call this a multiplier effect.  Cities grow and develop while individuals prosper.  Money changes more and more hands and energy flows.  In certain ways, that power can be reversed.  If for some reason, that flow of energy is blocked then the stagnation creeps in.  Individuals see less and less opportunity and may end up having to move to a new city.

On any given day, billions of money related connections are being executed on the money power grid.  From the macro-economic banks transacting what was once exchanged by hand to the micro-economic local dry cleaner, it takes a financial village.  Customers, manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, distributors, shippers, inventors, advertisers, landlords, bookkeepers, utility companies, government agencies, and the list goes on and on that connect and tie us together.  If your energy is directed to be part of the cog that turns the giant wheel than you are moving with that great power but if you are far from the hub, trying to turn in the opposite direction, or trying to wedge something in between, you are helping turn that energy into sluggishness and unproductiveness.

As many now know, combining alcohol with RedBull can have a detrimental if not lethal outcome.  We need to take care how we make our money cocktail.  Like water itself, it can sustain us or kill us by drowning in it.  Especially if you ignore the social power of money and concentrate only on how it affects your own being, meaning the noun over the verb, you are mixing your money cocktail into a toxic blend.  Add to this that when the energy of money is ignored, our money beverage loses its effervescence and will be left to evaporate in a mass long term malaise.  Like the power of nature when a tsunami and an earthquake combine, we’d better be prepared for the toxic fallout aftereffects if we fail to understand the great mammoth power of money.

Exercise:  Money Kool-Aid:  What does your money cocktail consist of?


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