The Value of Money

I’ve been volunteering with Hospice of the Valley for a few months now. My first experience is with a dementia patient with Alzheimer’s. I’ve never known anyone with dementia, and wasn’t sure what to expect, even with the training that I received before I started volunteering.

My experience has been well beyond any expectations. She is such a wonderful lady, and her family is pretty amazing too. They have been dealing with this awful disease for several years now, and all of the kids are pitching in where they can to help out. It’s a beautiful thing to see, and a true honor to be a part of it.

I got an unexpected call from their daughter-in-law a few of days ago, and picked it up right away with some concern. The call was nothing to do with my patient, but instead, an invitation to Easter dinner! She said that I’m a part of the family and that they wanted to invite me over to join them for the holiday.

I was awed and so incredibly honored. Here I am, a volunteer who visits once or twice a week. I don’t really do anything beyond spending time with and keeping an eye on my patient to make sure everything’s ok. It gives her husband and caregiver some time where he can get out of the house and run errands, so he’s appreciative, but to me, the few hours hardly seems like anything at all. And they invited me over with the entire family to join them for Easter dinner. Wow.

People, myself included, tend to place a lot of value in money. Money often dictates the value or worth of things. As a volunteer, I’m not paid and only spending my time to hopefully bring some comfort to my patient and her family: to help ease their burden of not only keeping her safe, but watching her slowly deteriorate.

Piggy bank

What Money is

Money is the currency that we use to purchase things. We trade money for the items and services that we want, and that we need.

What Money is Not

True value is not derived by the cost of something, or by what someone is willing to pay, but in how things make us feel.  It is not proof of worth, it is not esteem, it is not proof of success. It is money, which is used to barter for things and services.

As I build my new life, of course the income that I derive from work has some importance as I have bills to pay. However, what is the value of money for me? It’s no longer equal to my self-respect, my esteem and my belief in my success. It’s purely to purchase what I need or want.

The reward that I get from the work that I do helping others: priceless.

3 thoughts on “The Value of Money

  1. Chanté

    “However, what is the value of money for me? It’s no longer equal to my self-respect, my esteem and my belief in my success. It’s purely to purchase what I need or want.”

    Yes, yes, and YES! When I decided to do (all the things I am currently doing); there was a sense (by some comments made by family, friends and ex-colleagues) that what I was pursuing was somehow “beneath” my education, knowledge, etc. What they failed to understand (or probably didn’t/don’t care) is that if I’m not happy, all the money; corner offices, and reserved parking spaces in the world are not going to make me happy. Being true to myself and living MY life is what is important.
    For a brief moment, I was gobsmacked (by societal standards) that maybe, just maybe I was a failure in some sense, or that I wasn’t living up to my “full potential.” Then…my life started to change. Everything I’ve done hasn’t been easy or without GREAT sacrifices, but one thing I can say with great certainty, I don’t wake up every morning with a pit in my stomach wanting to jump off of a bridge (which is how I felt the last year and a half before I left “corporate America”).
    So, while I have a long road ahead of me, I don’t look at it as a bad thing, I look at it as the challenge that it is, and enjoying the fun I’ve been experiencing.
    Kudos to you, Sam, because you are on your own magnificent journey, while still helping others in the process. I have to say, your self esteem should be in the stratosphere!
    Keep up the great work, and thought provoking posts.

  2. samglauser Post author

    Thank you so much! You have been such an inspiration for me, and your enthusiasm and positive attitude are always infectious. I appreciate your friendship and cheer-leading!


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