Sunday, July 20, 2008

Piles of Money

The pastor's sermon today was about money. During the sermon, he
pulled a large manila envelope from under the pulpit. He reached into
it and started pulling out bricks of cash and stacking them on top of
the pulpit. It was ten bricks of 100 $1 bills.

I have never seen such a pile of money in my life, and the sight was
disturbingly powerful. I routinely deal with sums of money larger
than $1000 on checks and computer screens, and it does not affect me
at all. But the sight of piles of money is much more visceral; I felt
a brief flash of violent, animalistic greed when looking at the bricks
of cash.

I think this happens because, when we are little children, we deal
mostly with cash, and a dozen $1 bills would be a lot of money. When
you are an adult, you start dealing with money in the abstract, so you
use a different part of your mind. Seeing that pile of cash took me
back to a childhood view of money, and activated a different and more
primitive part of my mind.

No comments: