Friday, March 16, 2012
Checking The Score
We can never have too much money! When I hear the likes of what is being reported about Goldman Sachs these days, I can't help but think they, like so many, have taken a turn down the wrong path. Too many people think that money is the answer, that money is, in the end, the real prize. Like drug addicts, the more they get, the more they "need". I have actually heard stories about people who said they would retire after making a million dollars, or two. Having actually done so, and more, they were then unable to retire because even ten million dollars was no longer enough!
I get what they are thinking. It isn't actually about the money, its about keeping score. Many goals can be subjective in nature, but money is meant to be counted - that's what the numbers printed on the bills are for. I have a higher score than anyone who has less money than me. Because my score is higher, I am better than anyone with a lower score.
Good or Bad?
These people are so far removed from reality, I don't know what it would take to get them back. I don't know anyone who actually believes that having money makes us better people. I suppose, it really isn't being a better person that they have in mind. I'm not condemning the possession of money, but in my mind it doesn't necessarily translate into virtue, either. We do need to be careful on this point, as we are all familiar with the arguments as to how evil money is, and all the bad it can be used for, and how having real money must mean it was obtained at the expense of others.
Skills or Scores?
My reality is coaching soccer. As a coach, my job was to instill a desire for mastering the skills. So it made my job a whole lot harder when parents would pay their children for scoring goals. For me, it wasn't about the score. If players learned the skills, then the score would take care of itself. Have you ever seen the best team lose? What that should tell us is the score isn't always right, and it should never be our only measure of what a team, or any individual is worth. Still, I see coaches who will cheat because they want a winning score. When are the grown-ups in this world going to start acting like they really are, in fact, grown up?
If you ask me what we should be striving for, rather than money, it is the the things we have a real passion for. Not that we should let our passion blind us, either. Still, I can guarantee there is no stopping a person with a real passion, and there is no shortage of money and compensation for such people. Why? Because they are at their best when they are exercising their passion. As for having to pay the top one percent incredible amounts of money to attract "the best", I have always said I would prefer to hire the person who is so passionate about what they do they would do it even if they weren't getting paid. People then say, "Oh, you can't expect people to work for free!" and I don't - they are completely missing the point.
In so many ways I feel very sorry for those people who think that the more money they have, the happier they will be. I just wish a whole lot of people would grow up, and realize that happiness comes from the inside, and not the outside. We are teaching a whole generation of children everything we know - all the things that aren't helpful, and things which are outright lies. What ever happened to wanting a better future for our children? Does anyone really believe that making them slaves to money, like addicts to drugs, is in any way preparing them for a well-adjusted future? Should not leaders care?!?