Attitude towards Money… Finance – In modern day context

On careful observation of evolution of currency as it is today from the earlier days of barter system, we shall understand that money one makes, is a reflection of his productivity in the society, in the sense of its utility value. When you produce something in such large quantities, which is more than demanded by the society, the value of your goods goes down and hence the money you get at the end of the day is lesser. Similarly if we produce goods that earns you more money, it means that the demand for the same is more and the society will be glad that you have produced it.

Ankur defines an industrious person as one who is producing such goods /offering such services and in such quantities that the society needs. The stress here is on the word Needs”. There are many wants and needs in the society. Many a times wants are harmful, and needs are not realised as wants among the populace. It is the responsibility of the industrious/corporate to correctly identify the needs and produce such goods or offer such services, so that the world is a peaceful place to dwell in.

In the modern capitalist world money has taken such precedence, that people resort to making money or amassing wealth at the cost of relationships, environment, ethics, values, etc., Money and wealth has become a status symbol and it should rightly be so. But the status should be earned in a righteous way by fulfilling the needs of the society and not by succumbing to the wants; or encouraging the wants that are harmful to mankind; or by employing means of production that are harmful to the man and his environment.

Corporations resort to customer and market surveys to identify what is wanted by the society and simply produce and sell them; or they produce something which they like and use advertisement as a media to induce people into buying what they produce. This is an easy way to make money.

A better perspective and approach which is in the long-term interests of the society, is to use customer and market surveys to identify the needs of the society and the level of realisation of the needs. Then advertisements and promotions may be resorted, to enhance the awareness of their needs and let people know that you are making what they need. The process is same, efforts are similar, but the results will be dynamically different with a small change in perspective and attitude towards making money. Whether one becomes an entrepreneur or works for an enterprise this approach to money will create a huge difference in the society and for himself as a member of such harmonious society.

This kind of industriousness is advocated in the Vedas… through four purusharthas – Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha – the purpose of life.

The message at the practical worldly level is – One should pursue in their life wealth and security (Artha); rightful desires (Kama) in a harmonious (with the environment – fellow humans, plants, animals and rest of the environment) manner (Dharma) to be free from stress and pain (Moksha – liberation from sorrow). Ignoring the Dharma – Harmonious pursuit of desires and wealth is the primary reason for undue stress and pain in the modern world.

To summarise… “While, money one makes is a reflection of his productivity in the society… the mode one approaches (harmoniousness) determines his level of happiness and True Success”.

It is the responsibility of the educators – parents and teachers

  • to transfer the above value into the young minds
  • to impart to them the nuances of generating wealth and channeling it in a balanced way
  • to equip them with the creative ability to evolve ways and means to put that into practice

In this context meaning of the four basic terms in the capital economy – Income, Expense, Asset and Liability may be explained as…

Income – is that money which flows into your pocket as a result of a win-win relationship.

Expense – is the money that you rightfully give as a representation for the services or benefits you have availed from someone.

An Income for one is Expense for the other. At the end of an income-expense transaction, there should be a smile on both the faces.

Asset – is that resource (man, machine, money) which is productive / put to proper use / makes money.

Liability – is that resource which is unproductive / not put to proper use / does not make money.

The above definition of asset and liability may be in sharp contrast to the currently accepted definitions in our textbooks. There is a need to redefine and device ways to represent them so in our balance sheets, to maximise the wealth in the society.

“An unproductive or under-utilised asset is but a liability in a capital economy.

An unproductive or under-utilised human potential is but a liability to the society.”

Leave a comment


  1. Our educational institutions must teach finance and money issues to young students even before they graduate from high schools. As the saying goes, Money makes the world go round. Money does not have an inherent value except it is standard medium of exchange and money does what it does. Unfortunately in the contemporary society, money is treated as means to an end. And end being the status, power and ultimately happiness. There are studies done to show that economic growth does not always lead to happiness but there are also studies that will have you believe that money does buy you happiness. To each his own.

  2. Anonymous

     /  July 12, 2012

    Money makes the world go round or money does what it is supposed to do. Money is the standard of value. In contemporary society, it is understood that money is a means to an end which ultimately equates to status and ultimately happiness. But is it really true? Studies have shown that economic growth does not necessarily leads to happiness. When people are asked as how much money one would like to have to make them happy, the answer is little more than what I have. It is easy to get tangled up in the game of money. One needs to understand that money does not have any inherent value except that it is medium of exchange and should be treated as that. It is important to have academic discussion of finance and what money does.

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