The world has increasingly become money driven.
We spend our entire lives, or at least a better part of it, trying to earn more money to be able to acquire material comforts and benefits. A bigger car, a bigger house, a bigger television, a vacation abroad, a second home in the mountains, the best school for the children, fancy crockery and cutlery, investments in art, maybe even a stud farm. We get caught in the rate race of earning more and more and one day find that our life is over and we have not been able to enjoy the fruits of our labour. As we grow older, our lifestyle over the years forces us to live a life of moderation and medicines.
For some that is life itself. The pursuit of money and everything that it will buy.
For some it is material wealth, for others it is daily sustenance. Money is the common denominator that makes the world go round. Almost everything that we need and want in life can be purchased with money. Unlike in the olden days when barter was the norm. Barter meant negotiations and the value of an object different depending on who wanted it, how badly they wanted it and how much the 'seller' was willing to extract for the transactions. Once money came in, a definite value was established for most things and life became simpler.
However, there are still some communities that live a barter driven life. According to modern standards they are considered poor, since even statistics have come down to comparing people on their earning power and potential. A person might have everything, without ever having laying a finger on a currency note. Yet, since he cannot be compared to another human being on equal monetary terms, we conveniently put him in the 'poor' category.
However, let us look at the real life situation of a natural disaster or a catastrophe.
A flood sweeps through town. Or an earthquake flattens the city. Or a torrential and relentless deluge comes visiting. Or there is an economic blockade of sorts that prevents goods and services from entering the city. Or the grid goes down, thus stopping everything that runs on electricity - including petrol stations.
Soon, in a couple of hours, certainly in a couple of days, store shelves become empty, gas stations run out of fuel, phone batteries run out, food rots in the refrigerator. In such a survival context, the concept of money soon takes a walk out of the window.
Imagine your little one crying due to hunger and you do not have any baby food or milk left in the house. You take out your cheque book and ATM Card and a couple of bundles of cash and go looking for some milk in the city. You roam around the city in vain, The shops are shut and the ones that are open have already been vandalised. You are willing to pay anything to be able to get back home with some milk for your hungry child. In vain.
It is in times like these you realise that the money in your pocket is worth little more than toilet paper.
In fact, with the electricity out, you have no running water or a working toilet. You probably do not have spare toilet paper at home. With your wads of cash having no value at all, it serves no purpose other than to use it as toilet paper. Or, to burn the bundles to keep your family warm.
Do not get into this kind of an unfortunate situation. It can be devastating mentally and emotionally.
Stock up before you need it. Stock up on food, on water. Stock up for your kids and your pets. Stock up on prescription medicines. Stock up with board games to stay busy when there is nothing to do outside the confines of your homes.
Do not think that these situations do not happen. It happens very very regularly. And more often than not .... unfortunately and sadly .... we are just not prepared or ready to face it.