Do what you love and the money will follow
In this essay I will examine the meaning behind Jacob Needleman’s statement “There is this idea: ‘Do what you love and the money will follow’. I think that this is one of the New age Fantasies”. First explaining this quotation, I will then look at some of the questions that this statement raises, using similar views from an anthropology background and scholars such as Karl Marx to investigate the authors ideas of self knowledge and the role of money in western culture that are in the related article.
Through this article the author is trying to express the inherent fallacies that are present in such a statement as “Do what you love and the money will follow”. This statement originally quoted by Marsha Sinetar, in her 1989 book Discovering Your Right Livelihood. Needlemam counteracts this with his theory on the role that money has and contributes in western culture, he shows that money is the driving force behind everything, and that such a statement is nothing more than just a fantasy and not realistic, money comes before all else. He contends that everything that man does or accomplishes is, or for, the pursuit of money or exchange, and through this, society as a whole lives through this energy that is created.
Since, as the author contends, that money is the “Chief representative of ‘life on earth’ ” than money is what drives us, we chase it, money, in the author’s eyes does not follow us. Therefore the statement ” do what you love and the money will follow” is contrary to Needleman’s beliefs and in a sense would seem like a new age fantasy. Human life to him is money, to be human in this day and age is to require money and our own conciseness needs to accept this fact. To understand you’re individual life, you must accept that money is the most important piece in our culture at this time in human evolution you must accept it and adapt to it in order to survive. To believe that you can do what you like and the money follow is incomprehensible.
In addition to Neeldeman’s theory if you look at a similar hypothesis taken by anthropologist Meridith Small which serves to better illustrate the point of money being the decided factor in all of society through human evolution. Dr. Small uses the example of mating and sexual attraction in Homo Sapiens as a guide; she contends that sexual attraction within the Homo Sapiens subset is greatly influenced by wealth, which translates into the ability to care for offspring. She states, ” She wants a man who will provide for her children, she needs his money, his resources and his protection to care for the children she will raise”1. This illustrates part of Needleman’s point, on the nature of money and wealth. If you look at this quote you could easily erase the part men who have and still come out with the same result, and the same conclusion as Needleman.
Karl Marx, the great social commentator, once said of the economic realities, “The first form of the family, was based on economic conditions, on the victory of private property over primitive, natural communal property”2. Again, what Marx is saying, is that even in the beginning of human society there was a decidedly strong trend towards private ownership, which translates into money. Through this statement,
Needleman’s point is made more valid; it shows that money has its roots in everything and that it would be crass to assume that such a delusion as money following you will occur.
There are some questions that arise in such a statement, such as does money really override everything. Is the world so consumed with profits, capitalism and possessions that it can run on nothing else? Where is love, is this an antiquated notion only held by such romantic poets such as Lord Byron and Shelly, are their ideals based solely on the “great doubloon”
Where does faith fall into this equation? The author would have us believe that everything we do has to be based on money and or it’s effects. 95% of the World’s population believes in a higher form than humans, it could be said that this is what drives the world, and not the great dollar that so evidently drives most of western culture. And finally, if a person does decide to do what he or she loves than maybe the money will come, or maybe not, but at least your happy and I would suspect that a great number of the population would rather end their time on this planet happy over rich.