The Spirituality of Shopping
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
The Spirituality of ShoppingGetting personal with your money.
Few people in the modern world have a positive perception of money. We may love it for what it brings us, but hardly appreciate its true function and role. We rarely stand back and appreciate this cultural miracle.
In tribal societies and more relaxed cultures, however, money is still appreciated for its benefits, which are far more meaningful than simply bringing us possessions. All across the developing world, people still pause together during a financial transaction. In these cultures it is appreciated that money is facilitating two people meeting in an exchange that is mutually beneficial. Not only are goods and cash being transferred, but also conversation, news, gossip and friendship.
The relationship between the two people is held to be more important than the actual financial transaction itself. What good does it do anyone in an interdependent world if someone feels aggrieved after selling or buying? Any gratification or success on one side will eventually be offset by the other party’s resentment. In tribal societies, where people will inevitably meet again, perhaps in a situation that requires support, goodwill is more important than a bargain at another’s expense.
Traveling through the developing world, for example, when we shop in local markets we are often expected to sit down and discuss whether the price is right. Many of us are not accustomed to this level of intimacy when buying something. It makes us embarrassed and impatient. Born to shop in a busy world, who has the time or the emotional resources to engage in all this human relationship? We just want to buy the object and move on. Forget the personal connection.
Forget the personal connection? That is precisely the madness of contemporary cash. Cash is personal! But we use it impersonally; ignoring its implications and consequences. Have we been caught in the classic trap of separating the sacred from the profane—in this case, presupposing that money is profane and less than spiritual? If money is disengaged from the sacred, then, logically, so too are all our finances and transactions. Expelled from the domain of spirituality, our finances are then doomed to wandering around in the fog of purgatory.
Our relationship with money, our awareness and understanding of it need to be redeemed and drawn into goodwill.