Accounts vary as to when the concept of money first appeared. Some studies date back to 9000 BC while others say that the concept of money emerged around 2000 BC. During these times, people initially bartered goods and services.
As economies produced more and more goods and services, people of antiquity found that it was more efficient to use an intermediate object of value to transact. One of the earlier forms of the intermediate object of value was commodity, particularly bags of salt.
In the time of the Greeks and Romans, specie money or coins made out of precious metals became the intermediate object of value. Because specie money did not spoil like salt, it facilitated trade between nations separated by vast distances.
Over time, people got used to the idea of trading in intermediate objects that merely represented value. This led to the development of fiat money where the actual object being traded for goods and services does not have value in and of itself. Fiat money is what is in use for modern economies.
Regardless of form, money is not the root of evil. Quoting from 1 Timothy 6: 6-10: (New American Bible)
Religion, of course, does bring large profits, but only to those who are content with what they have. We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it; but as long as we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that. People who long to be rich are a prey to trial; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and harmful ambitions which plunge people into ruin and destruction. ‘The love of money is the root of all evils’ (underscore supplied) and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds.
Again, fiat money in and of itself has no value. Its value lies in what it is used for when its owner parts with it. And money could be invaluable if it were only used to enjoy a life of contentment for one’s self and for others instead of being used to fan greed.
Money bewitches people. They fret for it, and they sweat for it. They devise most ingenious ways to get it and most ingenious ways to get rid of it. Money is the only commodity that is good for nothing but to be gotten rid of. It will not feed you, clothe you, shelter you, or amuse you unless you spend it or invest it. It imparts value only in parting. People will do almost anything for money, and money will do almost anything for people. Money is a captivating, circulating, masquerading puzzle.
So do remember that (fiat) money in itself has no value. You assign its value only what you use it for. And history tells us that money becomes invaluable only if it is accumulated through one’s own blood, sweat and tears and yet spent for the benefit of others. This is when money stops becoming a puzzle.
image source: https://mises.ca/posts/articles/the-nature-and-origin-of-money/
(Originally written by Efren Ll. Cruz, RFP at http://www.savingstips.com.ph)
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