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Quotes on our relationships with money and our relationships with people

Andrew Potter:

“Cars are an almost perfect metaphor for the pervasive atomism that denies the very existence of the webs of interdependence that make civil society possible.”

Henry D. Thoreau:

"It is a grand fact that you cannot make the fairer fruits or parts of fruits matter of commerce, that is, you cannot buy the highest use and enjoyment of them. You cannot buy that pleasure which it yields to him who truly plucks it. You cannot buy a good appetite even. In short, you may buy a servant or slave, but you cannot buy a friend."

David Callahan:

"The great promise of consumer culture – promoted around the clock by $150 billion a year in advertising – is that we need never be discomforted or inconvenienced; that we need never put any him or burning desire on the back burner, or accept anything less than an optimal experience; that we always have more choices, new choices, better choices.

Whatever else you may say about consumerism, whether you’re pro-mall or anti-mall, one thing is certain: This outlook is fundamentally at odds with the vows of marriage and the realities of parenthood. In even the best family life we are often discomforted and inconvenienced, and we are stuck with what we have – the jock we married when we were twenty-four and just a kid, the children who share our blood but not our temperament, the in-laws whom we might happily send on a cruise around the world. Family may be about any number of things; unlimited choice is not one of them."

Alfred DePew:

"Consider this. What if we treated our lovers the way we treated money? Imagine periods of wild, passionate attention, obsession even. Then nothing. ("You never call. You never write!") Neglect. Irresponsibility. Avoidance. Followed by periods of remorse, resolving to do better. Balance the checkbook. Be more mindful of spending. No more debt. And even if your relationship to money is not this dramatic, chances are it's inconsistent and a cause of worry. In short: an energy drain."

Francis P. Cholle:

Experts say that no other generation [in the United States] has ever mentioned time and flexibility among their first three motivators. Millennials' approach to life is more personal and subjective and takes precedence over what we would see as the rule of the game: money. They have reconceptualized money; it is for them just one currency among many that are available to get them the things and experiences that they value. For example, in the preceding list, millennials say that time and flexibility are more important than money when seeking employment. Time and flexibility are currencies to be weighed in the same way as money when they think about compensation for their work.


“Walking the Line.” Andrew Potter. Adbusters, June-July 2000. p. 79.

David Callahan. The Moral Center: How We Can Reclaim our Country from Die-Hard Extremists, Rogue Corporations, Hollywood Hacks, and Pretend Patriots. USA: Harcourt, 2006. pp. 35-36.

Henry D. Thoreau. “Wild Fruits.” Printed in Faith in a Seed: The First Publication of Thoreau’s Last Manuscript. Edited by Bradley P. Dean. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1993. p. 182.

Alfred DePew. "What We Talk About When We Talk About Money." White Crane Journal, Issue #64, Spring 2005, p 22.

Francis P. Cholle. The Intuitive Compass: Why the Best Decisions Balance Reason and Instinct. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012. p. 209.


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