One of the interesting premises behind the currently popular Law of Attraction is that wealth simply comes from thought. The Secret and The Law of Attraction are really a New Age repackaging of ideas that have been around for many years, like Napoleon Hill’s 1937 classic, “Think and Grow Rich,” as well as the many inspirational works by authors like Vernon Howard and Norman Vincent Peale.
We spend a lot of time thinking about how much we have and how to get some more, but did you ever stop to wonder exactly what money actually is? As we become more intentional in how we call it to us and how we use it, we need to have a better understanding of what it is, where it has come from, and the energy it has carried, for better or worse, for thousands of years.
The classic economic definition of money is that it is “a good that acts as a medium of exchange in transactions.”
While barter is the oldest form of exchanging goods, it can be very clumsy. For instance, if I have some peaches that I would like to sell, and I am seeking some wool thread, I can either find someone who just happens to want peaches and has wool to sell. Or else I can find someone who, like me, uses some kind of representative token that will stand in for both.
Having everyone agree on what this token of exchange should be has historically been a tricky business. Sometimes it has been a tangible item, like a metal coin, cowrie shells, beads, cattle, jade, wampum, whales’ teeth, or even salt, which were the wages that were paid to the Roman legions, and from which we get the saying that someone is worth his salt.
However, it is an oversimplification to think that money was created only as an improvement to straight barter. To find out more about this, and understand more about the true nature of money, I hope you’ll stop back by here tomorrow!