Thursday, September 9, 2010

the root of all evil

I hate money. Or, more accurately, I hate thinking about money (clarification: I like having money - it's the thinking that gets me). I enjoy paying bills like most people enjoy a root canal. Paying bills requires you to look at the bigness (or smallness) of your account , then compare it to the bigness (never smallness) of the pile of bills on your desk. And during the whole, root canal-ish process, you have to think about money. Yuck.

When I'm King of the World, I will create a globally universal, worry-free finance Utopia. A heavenly paradise where people like me get to spend the money, and people like Alan Greenspan and Paul Martin get to figure out who owes what to whom.

[side note: it isn't that I hate Alan Greenspan or Paul Martin. Contrawise, I'd be assigning them their favourite job. They must like money or they would never have held ridiculous postions like Chairman of the Federal Reserve, or Finance Minister].

On second thought, I don't want the Alan Greenspans and Paul Martins of the earth poking their noses into my bank statement. I'd rather figure out for myself that there is more red than black there. But that requires thinking about money. Sigh. Yet another fabulous, king-of-the-world-sized idea that needs fine tuning.

This love-hate relationship with finance has weaseled its way into my work life. Firefighters are supposed to train and respond and manage. They don't need the distraction of money worries. But the difference between "supposed to be" and "really is", is about as wide as the gap between a Martin and a Beebe budget.

To close the gap a little, I had a brilliant idea that we would sell calendars this fall to raise money for equipment. It was going to be a simple affair with a few tables, 500 calendars, and thousands of people eagerly elbowing each other out of the way to get one before we sold out. The plan included very little money-thinking time.

Other partners in the scheme had different ideas though, and now we have a dunk tank, and games, and raffles, and prizes, and live bands, and politicians. Fortunately we also have people that think about money. All I have to do is chew my nails and not think about what happens if it rains and no one shows up, and we end the event with 494 calendars and no money.

Here's a random thought: why does an essential service have to run a calendar drive to raise money and awareness?

The Apostle Paul said the love of money is the root of all evil. Not to challenge the Good Book, I might suggest a parallel truth: care about money is the tree that sprouts from the root.

Stay tuned. The next entry will be about the success or failure of our first calendar event.

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