First published in Malaysiakini

By Arisha Auji Kamarudin , (c) 2016, Malaysiakini (c) 2016

Money is the instrument of exchange, helping in buying and selling and also in fixing a value on things and commodities. It may be in metal or in paper. With the market getting more and more complicated there are other negotiable instruments which are as good as the minted coins or the printed notes.

Money gives purchasing power but this power is not absolute as it is on various factors. In such a case it is termed currency and according to their purchasing power they are termed hard, soft and weak.

Though coins and notes are issued by the government of the country, there is a limit to their minting.

Let us see why money is needed. Simply because it helps the possessor to buy things. The days of bartering are gone though it is indirectly resorted to at international level. Money is helpful as a standard of price.

Money helps the owner to have power, not only in buying things but also in influencing many human activities. Money is used to good things such a s using it to build a temple, a church or a museum. Great educational institutions can be built. Students can be helped by providing them with scholarships in furthering their studies. The Nobel Prize would not have been there but for the huge sum of money earned by Alfred Nobel.

Money can buy men as it does things. Thus money play an important role in fighting and winning

elections. Money mars men’s and women’s morals. It is the evil influence in corrupting people. ‘Sell-out’ is the new term used for bribery. There are people who could do anything for the sake of money.

Moneyed people can buy many things which the poor cannot do.

With the power of money individuals as well as states can dictate terms. The Middle East countries have found new wealth because of their oil deposits and they have become a very powerful group.

This kind of power should not go to one’s head. One should remember that the money coming to him was by chance. He must not use it for evil purposes. But wherever there is evil there is usually money involved. Other motivating forces for evil action are jealousy, vengeance, hatred and so on.

Money is normally the fruit of labour. The question is how one spends that money. Great thinkers have suggested that one who has money enough and enough to spare must look upon himself as the trustee of the money and see to it that it is pent in a wise and useful way.

There is nothing good or evil about money. It depends on how one puts it to. The same money which could help bring relief to the suffering millions, can be used to build up armaments. The hope of getting money spurs one into action. The power decides how to spend the money. Money can be used morally or immorally. A morally strong man may not use money in evil ways and vice-versa.

Arisha Auji Kamarudin is one of the National Unity Youth Fellowship Programme (NUYF) 2016.

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