Mindful mutterings of a monetary might

talking about money

So much of the world we live in marches forth on the premise of taboos that it amounts to a dilemma indeed of whether we actually are living in an alternate universe not so much of a hypocrite to be shunning in fact the very things it professes. All around us we witness a frenzied hush hush of having to downplay every second thing we all do- whether those be things outside of the purview of a forced morality that threaten therefore to malign our ‘image‘ in society or things we personally chose to not make public for any reason whatsoever, whether out of the fear of judgement or otherwise of a liberty taking to our right to live the way we want and indeed do. It being in such spheres of existence that we essentially have been living through the evolution of our race over time and space that we have come to chart the should and musts of living for ourselves, setting in motion such treading along a trail of thoughts largely our own that seem to defy sometimes semblances of any real logic.

The essences in such manifestations somewhat murky, albeit in a curiously corrupted sense of it continue to characterise our living still as ideas so deeply seated within our conscience that we cannot really let go of the very idea of them. Across the fore of our existence these ideas continually manifest themselves, sometimes in allusion to specifics, at other times governed by more universal references in so much prominence that we tend not to think that there might exist an alternate reality to them as well. Governed therefore as we remain by such singular strands of what has always been a multidimensional reality, we remain shielded in part from the other nature of them. While that dawn of the different dimension might or might not be always advantageous for our overall wellbeing, that is a consideration not accounted for yet, given the simple fact that we still do not have access to one half of the whole nature of them.

Among such universally flowing thought processes that has since long come to characterise our collective psyche, one very consistently encountered concern happens to be centered around that very thing that which drives life. Forget philosophy for once and dwell more on the practical aspect of materiality and one would know for sure that money indeed is what helps life stay on track as long as we explore the avenues offered within this consumerist world mode that we now inhabit. It being money that earns us the riches of life, apart from of course the basics, the attention commanded by this asset of all allure is nothing surprising. As something that needs to be earned first so that its immense power can be harnessed to further earn things and services later, money is what has been the scope of expressing our worth and incomes, something we even carve out an identity of as something we earn as salary. Whether that be the remuneration of a job we hold or something we make from our own venture or earn instead by rendering our services in various capacities, our sources of income as well as the amount of it are crucial components of life and living.

And yet, despite all such essential significance of it and the fact that we all need to be laying claim to some form of income to trudge along through life at least as adults if not earlier except for course some exceptions, the mention of it in social circles is marked by some sort of an inhibition itself. Discussing our income publicly in exact amounts of it is something we aren’t yet comfortable with and thank to this assertion that almost all of us seem to hold in common, we aren’t quite tight pressed as well in having to indulge in such matters of extreme unease. The notions of money sure have changed from it not existing at all at one point of time in history to emerging as something not yet as wholly integral to life to gradually evolving into the asset that it is today but the adage that makes asking a man about his money amount to some sort of cultural impropriety has withstood the test of time. Of course, the world has advanced by quite some leaps and bounds since then to be considerably gender inclusive at least along this particular treading so that it is impolite today to ask also a woman about the height of the wad of money she makes, emphasising only further the dictum that the world is better off only guessing at best as to even the rough figures each one of us is rounding up to trudge along through life in our own individual capacities.

Just why this aversion to openly discussing money even within the trusted confines of one’s immediate social circle is a phenomenon that has more than a single strand of complexity silently perpetuating it all along. At the most basic of it all is the very notion that money encompasses in its almost synonymous mention of ‘worth’ as what the net worth of public figures and celebrities popularly present, tying it therefore with a certain assertion of our identity as a human. For indeed in all we are worth, as far as our significance as unique individuals are concerned, it is the exact count of the currency we lay claim over in all our abilities that deliver a somewhat skewed meaning as to the essence of money. It is in this particular assertion of money as being the ultimate definer of us that we steep it in a power of being a standard of judgement that perhaps outlines our place in the world. As therefore a marker of status and prestige, capabilities and intelligence, perseverance and talents, success and of course personal worth, money assumes a rather menacing identity- so profound in fact that has us running helter- skelter every time the mere mention of it seems likely.

It also is in such interpretations of money lie another cause of our inhibitions towards our discussion of it despite the exact opposite nature of emotions relating to its ‘desirability’. In being the yardstick to measure so much of our individual worth across different attributes pertaining to what makes us up, the money we earn therefore finds direct translation as being quantifying of the respect and importance one would be accorded- something that makes it shied away from being the purview of discussion among those not amassing of the immense empire of wealth that affords celebrities the public profiling of their worth.

Surprisingly though, it isn’t only the possibility of evoking such unfavourable responses out of our exclusively personal association with money as regards to the figures we earn that makes a real, exact disclosing of the numbers still a ‘revealing act’ enough to make one uncomfortable. Even in being wary of the judgement that one would face in the context of making lesser money than their peers, such as perhaps eliciting sympathy from them or otherwise not looked upon as equally as other, the assertion to the contrary also happens to be as true. For those within a circle of almost comparable income- that which though is only an inference made rather than being an absolute assertion of the numbers- the possibility of earning a substantially larger income might make them as likely to be ‘alienated’, this time perhaps out of resentment by their peers. In such dichotomy of dwelling availed out of a tricky indeed disposition that money has been made to be rested in, it should not be much difficult to decipher the universal disinclination that money has drawn upon in its idea as something depreciating of worth even in an appreciation of its numbers.

salary talks taboo
Source: Rediff.com

Beyond such commonly prevailing social standards steeping money in a relevance of such dilemmatic description that makes it a matter contentious about to indulge in hearty talks of, there has been prevailing also another strata of deliberation equally responsible for the taboo talks of money presenting as an irony in itself. This though is an assertion of purely the physical nature of money and availing out of the essence of its drawing as salary or reimbursement. It being salaries indeed that draws potential employees to jobs and workplaces apart from a host of other factors, it is certain that any contemplation relating to the margins of the amount in consideration is bound to be a very close mouther affair. No wonder businesses and employers have forever projected this image of salary discussion among employees and workers in an undesirable light, seeking to bind them down with unspoken rules and ‘etiquettes’ of the workplace all the while protecting their interests in negotiating as ‘cheap’ employments as possible. Also associated could be the practice of markedly different salaries offered to different employees even within the same department and in the same designation, commensurate though as they may be in regards to qualification and experience and expertise as well as such diverse considerations that contribute to efficiency and productivity. Thus has been ingrained the notion of salary discussion among coworkers and colleagues as something out of spirit with the workplace etiquette, as a way of employers skilfully devising means to keep their hiring costs as low as possible as well as to prevent resentment, especially across cases like the latter when the difference in pay might be justified. That though presents as a disadvantage for the employees who find their negotiation tactics falling way off the mark in securing the most optimum pay scale for themselves, largely owing to their unawareness of what others in their capacity are making. Interestingly though, this traditional mode of working of businesses and organisations as far as money matters might even be potentially detrimental to the employer itself given such recent findings of pay transparency making employees work harder, while a secrecy maintained across this aspect leads in fact to a decline in performance. Whatever that might be, the long standing notion of employee pay having been taboo continues still and in rather assertive might as well, underlining further the dictum of it being considered rude, impolite and even unessential to ask someone about their exact earning of salary.

In such prevailing parlance of money being a concern considerable enough to be largely shunned, there though exists both advantages and disadvantages to its explicit stating or otherwise. Notwithstanding though the possible negatives as well, the discussion on money being a taboo or something needed to be kept under covers is something that needs to be shunned. Even when it indeed is to each his own, money matters should make for such musings that can be comfortably and conveniently explored.