Money do not stink? The source of the money's origin and our perception

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Take any two banknotes of the same value from the wallet and place them in front of you. They look virtually identical, don't they? What if I told you one of them came from your hard-earned salary and the other was your bounty on contract homicide? Surely you would quickly start to see the difference between them, looking for dried blood droplets on this second note… Read on to read the article on how the source of money influences our economic behavior and how money is perceived by us.

Bloody money

Surely you are familiar with the term "money laundering", which refers to activities aimed at legalizing funds obtained illegally. In the criminal underworld, there are terms such as "coke money", "sex money" (profits from prostitution) or "blood money" (for contract murder). People of higher moral standards are disgusted with such money because of the way in which it was obtained. Among criminals, you can see a similar phenomenon to the one we mentioned when getting rich quickly and unexpectedly (gambling, lottery wins) - the wealth obtained illegally is usually squandered on alcohol, drugs, poker or prostitutes. Interestingly, in other cultures, "dirty money" is defined as money from other sources - such as the sale of tobacco.

A universal motif that appears in numerous texts of culture is betrayal for money, usually treated as the worst crime. The wealth thus acquired is cursed, brings misfortune, disgusts. In this context, the bag of gold appears as an emanation of unfaithfulness, a testimony to the evil done. In the pictures of Judas who hanged himself when he realized his crime, the pouch of silver coins is always present.

Fast money - easy come, easy go

Both psychological research and the practice known to everyone show that we usually spend money gained easily or unexpectedly much faster. It is much easier to bet the money you have just won in the casino than to risk losing your hard-earned and saved funds for months. In the context of lottery winnings, there is also a tendency to spend money more wastefully and recklessly - the popular saying "easy come, easy go" will be reflected here. This is proven by the stories of people published in the media who were drunk enough by the sudden rush of wealth that they quickly squandered their money on luxury.

Money stained with sin

In this context, it is worth mentioning usury, i.e. borrowing at interest. In our Western culture, this practice is common, after all, the entire banking system is based on earning from loans. In the past, usury was regarded as something bad, and money from it was considered unclean, gained in a wicked way. Today, the pejorative term "usury" describes the evidently overstated costs of paying off a loan - no one calls standard bank loans in this way. In Muslim countries, the condemnation of usury, in the old broad sense, has remained. As Islam prohibits borrowing at interest, bankers professing this belief must resort to specially constructed financial tools that conform to the teachings of the Koran. So Muslims consider usury money "dirty", burdened with sin.

Money do not stink?

The emotional relationship to money from various sources is clearly visible in the well-known phraseological relationships. Thirty pieces of silver (or possibly: Judas silver pieces) have become synonymous with money for treason. A widow's penny is an offering given from a pure heart - such a gift is assigned a higher value. The Roman emperor Vespasian used to say that "pecunia non olet" - money does not stink, no matter what source it comes from. Unfortunately, social psychology proves emphatically that the ruler of the empire did not convince anyone.