“He who loves money shall never have enough. The foolishness of thinking that wealth brings happiness! The more you have, the more you spend, right up to the limits of your income, so what is the advantage of wealth – except perhaps to watch it as it runs through your fingers! The man who works hard sleeps well whether he eats little or much, but the rich must worry and suffer insomnia.” Ecclesiastes 5:10-12
These are the words of King Solomon, the richest man of his time, where he spotlights the tragedy of the rich fool. Students of economics are often of the view that this subject of finance is all one needs in life to know about consumption, distribution, production and investments.
The economists often begin by studying the difference between desires and utility, but one owes more than that to this subject. This subject cannot be just about understanding the value of a product; because strangely enough, in reality no product in itself has any value. It is the desire of man that gives worth to it. First he assigns an importance to it and then goes on to pay for it.
In our foolish worldly attractions, we allocate great value to shining stones and then put in hours of hard labour to earn enough to pay the price we have applied. Parents can often be heard telling their children that money does not grow on trees and that they need to learn how to spend wisely. Ironically though these parents can be seen exerting themselves for the same paper and then using it to buy perishables.
Economics not only opens a window to finance but also to a cultural change. The management of finance empowers an individual with a choice. The only hitch is that he has to make a good and a sensible choice. An economically progressed nation is not always one which has made the correct choices for the well-being of the spirit of humanity. Affluence often misleads people into raw joys – joys which are only momentary and can be often seen as obnoxious flaunting of wealth.
Therefore, economics without the spirit of understanding the utility and instead lost in a sea of specious wishes can lead to a state of utter ignorance of the richness of the soul.
Unless man’s spirit is refined, the choices he will make in his life will continue to be very base. An economically developed country will have good food on everybody’s plate but a full stomach does not guarantee emotional satisfaction.
In this changing world, it is therefore the responsibility of the economists to help change the vision of finance; because it is only when the vision of man will change, that his world will change too.
A new age student of economics today must therefore not only focus on the ability to bring in and pay out, but also on the ability to earn respectfully and spend wisely.
Image courtesy: Google