In the following, I offer a set of norms concerning how money ought to be understood. I also describe where money figures into my overall account of running a way of life business. The fact that, under late capitalism, money is often nasty and brutish does not dissuade or defer me; it can be otherwise; we can do better.
One does not seek the other in order to get paid; one seeks the other in order to find wholeness.
One does not insist on getting this or that amount; one asks the other what she can pay and accepts the offering with all one’s heart.
Payment is like the bloom on a flower: it is not the thing itself, not the roots or stalk or lifeblood; it is an expression of beauty, a feeling of pleasure.
Do not remind the other to pay what is owed. That is bad etiquette, and it reveals a crabbed spirit. The other should recall of his own accord. That is good etiquette. If he forgets often enough, then perhaps you are not such a good teacher.
Payment is an act of gratitude; it is one act among others, neither the least nor the most, neither the lowest nor the highest.
When gratitude flows freely, so does giving.
One does not desire money for its own sake. One desires money for the sake of something higher.
Opulence is not the aim; financial prosperity is: a room with a view, birdsong at midday.
When I go to thank you, I put money in your hand. In my heart and through my words, I am neither too diffident nor too aggressive. I look at you, I place this-here in your palm, and I say thank you. I ask only that you look at me without shame in return.
Payment is also love.