What Do You Value?
After Geneen Roth found out that she and her husband had lost all their money, she was shell-shocked. She was also lucky. They didn't lose their home, they were still working and they stayed afloat. As she tells us in her memoir, Lost and Found: One Woman's Story of Losing Her Money and Finding Her Life, the only thing of value that they lost was their money.
"I know this is shocking. And you will probably need to spend some time crying and feeling angry and grieving. But I promise you that nothing of any value is lost."
"How can you say that?" I asked with mounting panic. I was thinking to myself that now was definitely not the time to be spiritual. "Thirty years of life savings gone. We'll never get those years back. We'll have to sell our house, move in with friends. We might be homeless, sick -- and without money."
"I'm saying it because it's true," she said simply. Page 15
Roth didn't quite believe her friends when they told her she still had all the things that mattered. I don't blame her. The idea of losing all my money, of possibly losing my house... that's the stuff my nightmares are made of. It's not that we have all that much money in the bank -- certainly not as much as Roth did -- or that our house is grand (it's not), but the security and stability that they provide is what allows me to sleep at night.
Roth goes on to examine her relationship with money. She comes to understand the things that she values and fears about money. She discovers that money isn't necessarily the thing we value the most in life.
The things many of value the most are not things at all. We value the people in our lives and the relationships with them. Money can certainly make spending time with those people easier sometimes, but it's the people you are spending time with rather than what you are doing with them that's valuable.
What do you value in your life?