The first of the Great Twelve discussed by Doctor Holland was Love. In February he showed us the value of Struggle. This month he shows us the two faces of Money–its good face and its bad, its smile and its frown.The Farmer’s Wife–A Magazine For Farm Women
Hello, again History Lovers!
Today’s post is the third installment of The Twelve Greatest Things Series published in The Farmer’s Wife–A Magazine For Farm Women 1926. Through Reverend Hollands’ essay, we are reminded of the ability Money has to ennoble a man’s character, as well as the power to expose a man’s ignoble soul.
“I AM the most popular of man’s earthly treasures. Throughout the world, I am called by a thousand names.
Since I was discovered, I have had more power than any other thing or idea.
Americans are positively crazy over me. So restless are they to possess me that they have no peace night or day. Their two leading occupations seem to be to get and spend me. I am the god in whom they trust.
One of my greatest names is Power. At times I have seemed almost Omnipotent. I have put sniveling weaklings upon golden thrones and bought crowns for their worthless heads. Priests and ministers have sold their souls for me. Whole governments have I held in my powerful hand. When fools make war, I sit behind the scenes and pull the wires of human destiny.
I am a magic wand. I erect hospitals where cripples are cured. I build houses of God where men find forgiveness and peace. I buy the jewel which the lover places upon the hand of his beloved. I accompany the pair throughout their journey of life and at last, buy them a winding sheet (shroud).
While I am neither good nor bad in myself, I bless or burn those who use or abuse my power. If any man will love me enough, I absolutely rule him.
If you would see me at my worst, behold the shriveled heart of a miser.
My best use is to make possible the bloom of health upon a baby’s cheek.
Poor fools will lie for me but they always regret their bargain. Often have I been in the pockets of robbers but I never have enriched one thief. I have an eternal quarrel with all who use me dishonestly.
If men were only wise, they would see how cheap I really am compared with the great things of life. True love I never once have purchased, nor have I ever made one home happy where love was not there before I came.
Health is worth many times more than wealth, yet countless men have traded their health for me. All such desire to trade back. Nature does not allow that, for she has put no reverse gears in the human-machine. Though men know this, still I have but to “jingle my guineas” in their ears, and they rush off like hounds after a hare.
Honor is above the price of rubies, yet, here and there, I find men whose honor is purchasable. Even some women sell their virtue for dollars and men have sacrificed lovely daughters on the altar of mammon.
Foolish men! Do they not know that the soul is worth more than all material worlds? I have never saved one soul in all time, nor ever. I can not buy a prayer, nor am I to be compared to one tear of repentance.
What am I? I am a tool, a prop, a temporary comfort. My blessing and my cursing stop at the grave. From there men’s souls go on without me. I have sent many souls to judgment but have accompanied none.
I am only for Time. Men are created for Eternity.”
The above article was originally published in The Farmer’s Wife–A Magazine For Farm Women, March 1926, page 141; Webb Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minnesota. Articles may be edited for length and clarity.