For the money

I blogged a couple weeks ago about the Trapp Family Singers. We have their story and The Sound of Music for one simple reason. Captain von Trapp’s bank failed. They went public with their singing for the money. 

They did a few other things, too: handmade crafts, singing camps, a vacation lodge, and a book deal. Their industry made the world a more interesting place. And they did it for the money. 

Doing something for the money can sound crass, like a necessary evil. But it need not be so. 

When the ALDI cashier tells me my grocery total, I sometimes say, “Not bad for the food you eat!” Then I walk away with a cartful of stuff worth more to me than the $94.04 I just handed over. 

In a good transaction each party gets the good end of the deal. Each party has traded up, getting something more valuable than what they gave for it. While I always want to get more for my money, the fact is that some other person was able to produce something I couldn’t get for myself. Giving that person money for what they offered was not a necessary evil. It’s proof that the work was valuable to me. 

Yes, fraud, extortion, greed, and envy can corrupt these transactions; the love of money is “a root of all kinds of evils;” and not every market is a good market. But that’s not the whole story. “You should sell that!” is high praise for anyone’s product. The existence of buyers proves you can offer something worthwhile to the world. 

It can be a great thing to do it for the money.

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