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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: "Money does no bring happiness, but it makes things easier"

Vieraskieliset / In-english
1.11.2022 7.00

Juttua muokattu:

4.10. 12:49
2022100412493620221101070000

Text: Vesa Kum­pu­la

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

We were vi­si­ting my pa­rents when my son cal­led. He said a guy from the po­wer com­pa­ny had come to switch off elect­ri­ci­ty. I told him to calm down and said I would call the po­wer com­pa­ny and set­t­le the mat­ter.

I had not paid our elect­ri­ci­ty bill, but I said I would take care of the pa­y­ment right away. We al­so nee­ded to pay the com­pa­ny for switc­hing the po­wer on again. I did won­der in my mind why they de­ci­ded to switch off the po­wer, though on­ly our child­ren were at home.

Our fa­mi­ly has had ti­mes when mo­ney has been re­al­ly short. We ne­ver ac­tu­al­ly went hung­ry, which was a good thing, but we had to keep the pur­se strings tight.

Around that time, many mi­ra­cu­lous things hap­pe­ned that hel­ped us ma­na­ge. There was a big storm that fell down trees on our yard. We had an in­su­ran­ce that co­ve­red the va­lue of those trees six­fold, and we even en­ded upb­kee­ping the wood. At anot­her time, my mot­her-in-law, who ow­ned half of the farm af­ter her hus­band’s de­ath, gave us some of the mo­ney she had got by sel­ling wood. We were ta­ken care of.

The re­ces­si­on in the ear­ly 1990s was a dif­fi­cult time. Many fa­mi­lies were hard up fi­nan­ci­al­ly. The­re­fo­re, col­lec­ti­ons were or­ga­ni­zed to help some fa­mi­lies. Pe­op­le were of two minds about those col­lec­ti­ons. Some pro­bab­ly thought those pe­op­le could have avoi­ded the prob­lems by ac­ting dif­fe­rent­ly. Some may have been re­luc­tant to do­na­te mo­ney they felt to be theirs. The pe­op­le who were col­lec­ting do­na­ti­ons were awa­re of our fa­mi­ly’s “po­ver­ty”. We were not even as­ked if we would like to give so­met­hing to the col­lec­ti­on. But one of the col­lec­tors disc­reet­ly in­qui­red about my opi­ni­on of these do­na­ti­ons. I told him it was a good thing to help pe­op­le in need. I al­so said I would like to give so­met­hing my­self.

We were buil­ding a hou­se and had been gran­ted a state-sub­si­di­zed low-in­te­rest hou­sing loan. There were ti­mes when we had prob­lems pa­ying back even that loan. I on­ce cal­led the mu­ni­ci­pal of­fi­ce to dis­cuss the pa­y­back sche­du­le. The per­son who took the call knew me. He as­ked me why I was re­a­dy to take care of ot­her pe­op­le’s bu­si­ness but left my own unat­ten­ded. It was true that I had many pub­lic du­ties at that time, inc­lu­ding the chair­mans­hip of the vil­la­ge com­mit­tee. That res­pon­se from the of­fi­ci­al made me pau­se and think about what things should come first in my life.

My work du­ties inc­lu­ded vi­sits to many en­terp­ri­ses. The ow­ner of one ba­ke­ry knew I had a big fa­mi­ly. Of­ten, when I went to see him, he gave me a bag full of lo­a­ves. He even said I should call him if I en­coun­te­red in­sur­moun­tab­le fi­nan­ci­al prob­lems. His help­ful­ness en­cou­ra­ged me to see our fu­tu­re in a brigh­ter light.

Luc­ki­ly, se­cond-hand sa­les be­gan to pop up in Fin­land at that time. We could get good se­cond-hand clot­hes for a mo­de­ra­te price. My wife most­ly bought clot­hes, while I bought shoes. At a se­cond-hand store, I wal­ked around loo­king down, be­cau­se shoes were usu­al­ly disp­la­yed at the floor le­vel.

We were close to bank­rupt­cy, but there was anot­her mi­ra­cu­lous stroke of luck: our bank had for­got­ten to re­new our mort­ga­ge in time. They were one day late, and the lo­ans we had ta­ken from the bank were, in prac­ti­ce, left wit­hout col­la­te­ral se­cu­ri­ty for a day. We were the­re­for ab­le to ne­go­ti­a­te a sui­tab­le in­te­rest rate and pa­y­back sche­du­le. In­te­rest ra­tes at that time were huge, up to 16%, and the new 1% in­te­rest on our loan was a real re­lief.

Then so­met­hing unex­pec­ted hap­pe­ned again. A ma­jor chan­ge took place in the bu­si­ness sec­tor, and we found a new line of bu­si­ness that was pro­duc­ti­ve. We were then ab­le to pay back our lo­ans, and our fi­nan­ci­al si­tu­a­ti­on imp­ro­ved even ot­her­wi­se.

I have of­ten thought about those hard ti­mes in ret­ros­pect and as­ked my­self if we were un­hap­py then. But I have come to the conc­lu­si­on that mo­ney does not bring hap­pi­ness. We were en­jo­ying nor­mal fa­mi­ly life even then, and the inc­re­a­sing we­alth has not made us any hap­pier. Though I must ad­mit that while we were strug­g­ling with shor­ta­ge of mo­ney, it was hard to be hap­py for ot­hers who were doing well. Alt­hough mo­ney does not bring hap­pi­ness, it ma­kes life ea­sier.

The Book of Pro­verbs ad­vi­ses us to pray like this: ”Give me neit­her po­ver­ty nor ric­hes, but give me on­ly my dai­ly bread.” (Prov. 30:8.) I have so­me­ti­mes pon­de­red about that inst­ruc­ti­on. Those words inc­lu­de a great wis­dom. Je­sus, in His ser­mon on the mount, used birds to il­lust­ra­te the care of God: ”Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet yo­ur he­a­ven­ly Fat­her feeds them. Are you not much more va­lu­ab­le than they?” (Matt. 6:26.)

At the pre­sent, too, many pe­op­le are wor­ried about the price of elect­ri­ci­ty and the ri­sing in­te­rest ra­tes. There are al­so ot­her fi­nan­ci­al wor­ries. Yet, it is safe to re­mem­ber that the He­a­ven­ly Fat­her will take care of His child­ren. Abo­ve all, we should re­mind our­sel­ves about the gre­a­test gift that we pos­sess, the gift of faith in our he­arts. That brings us the gre­a­test hap­pi­ness.

17.6.2024

Käänny puoleeni; Herra, ja ole minulle armollinen, sillä minä olen yksin ja avuton. Ps. 25:16

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