Over time, a lot of notable figures have had inspiring and enlightening things to say about money. As CEO of Credit Canada Debt Solutions, I‘m naturally drawn to famous quotes and words of wisdom about financial matters, and I’d like to share a few of those historical quotes with you now, while at the same time providing a little modern perspective on matters.
“If you look to others for fulfilment, you will never truly be fulfiled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself.”
So spoke the enlightened oriental soul Lao Tzu (rhymes with wow sue) around about 600 B.C. His words ring true across the centuries, encouraging us all to find strength in self-reliance and to take full, personal responsibility for the fulfilment of our life goals and dreams. Lao Tzu also suggests that matters of spirit – the love and care for family, friends, the less fortunate among us, and for that matter ourselves – should take precedence over money and material possessions. If you care to study Lao Tzu more closely, you will find that he believes money and possessions seem to have a way of working themselves out on their own when one’s attitude toward life is correctly and positively focused.
Lao Tzu’s words are similar to those we convey to troubled souls who come to us at Credit Canada for help with crippling debt. We know, from experience in today’s world, that thinking along the line of Lao Tzu’s makes for very empowering results when coupled with powerful, practical tools for sound personal money management.
“Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.”
This ancient Biblical quote from Ecclesiastes strikes to the very heart of a matter of foremost educational concern to us at Credit Canada – financial literacy. At the core of financial literacy is the understanding that money in itself does not provide security, it is only a tool through which material and emotional security can be achieved. Proof of this is readily apparent in the stories we hear every day now about rich, acquisitive celebrities. Many of them have mountains of money, and yet these people are miserable, or at sea with themselves. That is because they fail to see how the money they have can be put toward matters that make life meaningful.
There will never be enough mansions, cars, and yachts on Earth to satisfy the hunger of a person who shares a neurotic relationship with money - who carries reckless or disrespectful attitudes towards it. Moreover, in many instances when the light stops shining on beloved celebrities, they fall into irreconcilable debt or even become impoverished. It only proves that knowledge about financial matters – including above all one’s psychological relationship to money based on formative life experiences - is a solid rock upon which wisdom is based in a consumer culture.
“Words pay no debt.”
Jumping forward in time a couple of thousand years we find four simple words from the bard and playwright William Shakespeare that say just about everything that needs to be said about facing reality in matters of finances gone awry. Or look at it this way, wishful thinking, provisional living (i.e. “First I’ll win the lottery, then I’ll take care of finances.”), and good old-fashioned worry offer sorry solutions to money problems. Action is the key, even if it means throwing oneself into a self-created abyss of shame felt for apparently botching one’s life through the mismanagement of money.
The good news is that when a financially troubled individual finds the courage to face his or her perceived shortcomings about money, a new perspective on life takes shape. One discovers that there are many, many others in the very same boat, and that there are plenty of caring, knowledgeable, and non-judgemental people around who can help solve matters.
“Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.”
This 19th Century quote comes from a guy named Oliver Wendell Holmes, an American physician, poet and professor generally regarded as one of the brightest minds of his time. Holmes offers a clever wordplay on something that is near and dear to our hearts here at Credit Canada – namely, the importance of saving money for peace of mind in life. Given the unprecedented degree of personal debt amongst Canadians today, I have to wonder whatever happened to the once noble and prudent notion of putting money away, not only for a rainy day, but for education, retirement, and many other important things.
"Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons."
From comedian and filmmaker Woody Allen. Enough said.