When you don’t have it, it’s all you think about. Some people seem obsessed by it, and no one ever really believes they have enough. It always seems others have more than you do. Yet when you finally get some, it doesn’t seem that important at all.
These contradictions may explain why Americans are so careless with currency. We let cash slip through our fingers. We call money (or the love of it) the root of all evil. And in the unkindest cut of all, we snub it in favor of credit.
The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Money would like to change those attitudes. “The abuse has to stop,” says Jack Brass, director of the nonprofit, which is based in Washington DC. “Americans seem to have forgotten that there was a time when cash was king.”
In an effort to raise cash’s capital with the public, the Society recently released the book, Ten Things Your Money Would Like to Say to You. The first chapter: Be kind to your cash. Who else is going to take care of you when you’re old?
Some scoff at these efforts. “It’s nothing but fear mongering,” says Cap Financier, founder of the group Rolling in Dough. “There’s money to burn in our society. If you don’t believe me, take a look at government spending.”
But the government, according to Mr. Brass, is the reason so many Americans have little regard for cash. He points out that the very entity that creates money also sends billions into war zones. “Where’s the respect in that?” he asks. “No wonder we so easily ignore orphaned change when we see it lying in the street.”
Mr. Brass says his organization plans future campaigns that will target penny-pinching accountants and men with wads of bills viciously stuffed in money clips. He urges Americans to purchase Ten Things Your Money Would Like to Say to You, as book sale proceeds will fund these awareness efforts. As always, the Society is also willing to adopt mistreated cash.