The Emotional Meaning of Money, 31.07.12
By: Edith Townsend, MSW , RSW
(Originally published in the Summer issue of Moods Magazine, 2012: www.moodsmag.com)
There are few words that can elicit such a strong emotional reaction from us: fear, excitement, anxiety, and guilt. These feelings come from the myriad of different beliefs we have about money. Think about some common adages we often hear: Money buys happiness; Money is the root of all evil; Money will protect me. Philosopher Jacob Needleman wrote that if we understood the true role of money in our lives, we would not think simply in terms of spending it or saving it. Money exerts a deep emotional influence on who we are and what we tell ourselves we can never have. Needleman asserts that our unwillingness to understand the emotional effects of money is at the heart of why we have come to “know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”
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