Sunday, December 16, 2007

Money As Mother's Milk

December 16, 2007


As far as business ethics go, it's a question of friendship. When we have a business deal with somebody, we should not think in terms of cutting his throat, but we should have good faith in that particular person and a sense of tenderness toward him. Whether we are buying land from that person or just a tee shirt, there should be tenderness and faith. That goes a long way. On the whole, we should regard money as mother's milk: it nourishes us and it nourishes others. That should be our attitude to money. It's not just a bank coupon that we have in our wallet. Each dollar contains a lot of the past; many people worked for that particular one dollar, one cent. They worked so hard, with their sweat and tears. So we should respect it, like mother's milk. But at the same time, mother's milk can be given away to others, and we can produce more mother's milk. So we shouldn't hang onto it too tightly.

From "Regarding Money as Mother's Milk," an address at a business conference, June 19, 1981. Unpublished transcript.

All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo and used by permission.

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