Photo from Scientific American
In our last honesty circle, we heard a powerful share from a member in the community that touched so many of us.. here's the lightly edited reflection:
"Growing up, I was a huge fan of Suze Orman's financial advice. I knew that I should save more and spend less, and especially prepare for retirement! Here I was, thinking financial independence was the only name of the game.
When I was younger, my parents abandoned me because they were essentially bankrupt. I searched inside myself for the flaw that would cause my parents to leave me. When I couldn't locate this seat of inadequacy, I turned to shopping to fill that void
At that time, my godmother chose to stay to care of me with no financial resources of her own. She stayed just because she loved me and wanted me to be safe, which is more than I can say about my flesh-and-blood parents.
Recently, when she fell ill with a serious illness, I realized that although she did not give me financial resources, I would forever be indebted to her. I could never repay the hours she spent feeding me, raising me, and being there for me when I needed her the most.
We're taught to imagine ourselves as self-made people, with the goal of independence. Yet as I've learnt, this a myth. Money is ultimately a social resource, and somehow as we accumulate more money we think we can go-it-alone. Knowing this, we need to acknowledge and embrace our interconnectedness, and make a conscious choice to NEED each other.
I know that for me, I will always be indebted to the person that raised me, my relatives that supported me, and the true friends that I've made along the way. There may come a time where I will make more than enough money, but to call myself independent then, is a lonely myth.
Acknowledge this means realizing that I have more worth and resources than the number on my bank statement, and that community capital is a lot more resilient than financial capital. I've learnt that I am not better than someone just because of the amount of money I have, nor worse off than someone who has a lot more. We are truly better together, and I hope we can pool our resources to uplift those who may need help in this time."