What is Money?


Bert Wright



Have you ever taken the time to measure the length and width of this little green piece of paper? It is the same size, regardless of the denomination. (If you are curious, it measures 2 ½ inches by 6 inches.) Undoubtedly, as our world has gotten more digital, many are more apt to use a piece of plastic, also known as their debit/credit card. Similar to cash, the measurements stay the same regardless of your account balance or credit limit. (The answer is 2 inches by three ¼ inches… by the way.)

I am fascinated by how these tiny instruments have such a profound impact on our lives. Every day millions of people rise and grind in pursuit of something we call money. So what is it?

Merriam Webster defines money as “something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment.” As I reflected on this definition, it is so sanitary. It is void of emotional impact. Let’s face it; money is much more than a way to exchange one’s products or services for payment.

I propose a new definition of money. Money represents units of choice. It doesn’t matter whether a person reports to a place of employment or is an entrepreneur; they all represent a certain level of choice with the payments they receive. They affect every aspect of our lives. Furthermore, these options have emotional value. It is a romantic evening with your partner or a family vacation of choice. It is a donation to your favorite charity. Conversely, money (or lack thereof) is a source of great stress and frustration.

If we accept that money represents units of choice, then how do we know the difference when it has become one’s master versus a tool to serve. The answer lies in the power of gratitude. This concept has the ability to elevate people to a level where the money is put in its proper place. There is a healthy appreciation of what it does for them, and it does not overshadow the most important things. The intangibles that money can not buy.

Gratitude will help to ensure that money continues to represent units of choice versus mandates. The concept allows you to be grateful regardless of your financial means.

I invite you to consider the following:

What is money?

What does it mean to you?

How has your upbringing impacted your belief about it?

Bert Wright

Bert sees entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social change. As a former educator, he saw first hand the importance of thinking outside the box meant for his students and the importance of financial literacy. With over 20+ years of servant leadership in different organizations, Bert believes in a serve first mindset, and abundance will follow.



  1. tina.boone18@gmail.com says:

    Wonderful article!! I absolutely love, love, love your rewrite of the definition of money. I say this because we make choices every day and money is a part of many of the choices that we make and it gives us the flexibility to move in ease or the lack of money will be our stress. Oh, but, to live in gratitude in spite of our financial situation is a powerful statement. Thank you for the power insight!! – Tina Boone

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