A man has made a great fortune with all his efforts. As he gets old and nears death, he stares at all the gold and treasure in his giant safe and sighs, “Oh gold and treasure, is it possible for you to save me from death?” Money may buy a man many things, including women and even slaves, but it cannot buy eternal life for the physical body.
Some say: Money can buy cosmetics but not elegance. Money can buy beautiful clothes but not a beautiful physique. Money can buy gourmet food but not a healthy appetite. Money can buy a big wide bed but not good sleep. Money can buy tall mansions but not high morals. Money can buy books and magazines but not intelligence and knowledge. Money can buy furniture and housewares but not joy and satisfaction. Money can buy drinking buddies but not true friends. Money can buy votes but not hearts. Money can buy companies and banks but not wisdom. Money can buy shouts of cheer but not respect with joining palms. Money can buy high positions but not saintliness.
We have witnessed many wealthy entrepreneurs with great fortune. When they died, the money they left behind created much unwholesome karma, and terrible infighting among their children. Many go to court over money, and many more become enemies because of money. So is money really good or bad? When money is used positively, it is benevolent. When it is used otherwise, it becomes a karmic obstruction. As the saying goes, “A phenomenon is neither good nor evil, but good and evil are the standard.” Similarly, money itself is neither good nor bad, but whether it can gain merit or commit a crime depends on how we us it.
We should not be greedy for personal wealth in. We should create common wealth shared by everyone. The sky above and the earth below, the sun and the moon, the mountains and rivers, are all wealth shared by all. We should, therefore, learn from the sun and the moon to share our wealth with humanity.
In addition to money, compassion, wisdom, humility, gratitude, faith, and ethics are also our wealth. In sharing what we have, we should consider all sources of wealth including those of nature, so that each kind can be fully used appropriately.