What Does Money Mean to You?
So why would we even consider entrusting our money to someone who doesn’t really understand what money means to us?
Whether we’re considering leaving money to children, grandchildren, or a charitable organization; or we’re about to turn over investment assets to a financial advisor; or we’re asking someone to help us make estate or financial plans, we should share our wealth only with those who are privy to the meaningful experiences that have shaped our understanding of what money is all about.
Those who would inherit our money need to know what it took to earn it and safeguard it, and they need to hear in our own words the lessons life has taught us about how to use wealth wisely. When an inheritance is combined with the wisdom to use it wisely, it can become a meaningful and lasting legacy. Those who would manage or plan for our money need to appreciate the experiences that have influenced our sense of what money really stands for, and they need to understand how it fits in with the larger themes of our lives.
The best way for them to understand what money means to us is by hearing our “meaning of money” stories. Steve Sabo has pointed out that stories are the most powerful way of teaching and transforming:
Tell me a fact and I’ll learn.
Tell me a truth and I’ll believe.
Tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.
It is by sharing our experiences in our own words that we convey to them the important money lessons and insights of our lives that are critical to their wise use and management of our wealth.
Nearly half a century ago John F. Kennedy envisioned “a great future in which our country will match its wealth with our wisdom.” Using the power of our meaning of money stories, we can uncover a treasure house of wisdom about the meaning of money hidden within ourselves—wisdom that deserves to be shared and cherished for generations to come.