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The Soul of Money Part One

August 13, 2009

I called today’s post “The Soul of Money Part One” because I expect I’ll write more about this subject later. But you never know.

The Soul of Money is a book by Lynne Twist that I picked up at the library last week and finally cracked open yesterday. I’m probably only 30 pages in, but I’m already hooked! According to the website, this book “is a wise and inspiring exploration of the connection between money and leading a fulfilling life”. Sounds right up my alley. Read an excerpt of the book here, if you’re interested.

This book reminded me, or perhaps for the first time shone light on the fact, that we invented money, yet we don’t rule it, it rules us! Twist opens up the book by discussing the Achuar tribe, which lived deep in the Amazon Jungle without money for thousands of generations, until their land became the target of commercial interests from oil companies. In the mid nineties Twist and her husband Bill became partners in the Achuar tribe’s efforts to protect their land and way of life.

This tribe didn’t need money. They worked together to build shelter, raise food, and take care of each other. Which is what we all used to do, back before money was invented. And now I sit here, in front of my Dell computer and glass desk, wearing a bathrobe made of materials that I probably can’t pronounce, wondering how we all got so disconnected from helping each other and so connected to the idea that we are defined by money.

Twist also addresses her realization that, although she was more than willing to help the hungry, homeless, and poverty-stricken, she had a strong anger and prejudice towards wealthy people. She ends up having an interaction with Mother Theresa and is told by her that she must open her heart to those who are wealthy, too. Just because people have gobs of money does not mean they live fulfilling lives, are in touch with their souls, or are even happy most of the time. They are needy, too, just not in the traditional sense.

I have so much to learn from this book, I can tell already. And I just checked, I’m on page 38 out of 257, so expect to hear more about this book and what I’m learning in the coming weeks!

Be Joyful, and try to remember money isn’t everything.

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