quotation on the cover gives me something of a pang whenever
I read it. “The days come and go but they say nothing,
and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them
as silently away.” To me, those words have a bit of
the feel of the biblical parable about the master who gave
each of three servants some “talents” before
he embarked on a journey. (A talent was a coin, said to
be worth more than a thousand dollars in today’s money.)
Upon his return, he questioned each one, seeking to learn
what had become of their talents. Two of them had increased
and multiplied the talents entrusted to them. The third,
fearful of losing his talent, had buried it in the ground
for safekeeping. Only the original amount remained. The
master soundly rebuked the servant, taking away his talent
and giving it to one who had put his to use.
interpretations, of course, may be given to this parable.
But after all is said and done, what remains for me is the
: If we do not use our gifts, they may be
carried away. This journal issue is about “the gift”
of money, of wealth, of affluence—because however
it comes to you, wealth is a gift enjoyed by only a small
percentage of the world’s population. How do you embrace
such a gift and allow it to bear fruit— not just as
a financial investment, but as a “talent” to
be used in the world? To people without money, it sounds
easy to do. But once you have money entrusted to you, you’re
likely to find that it’s not quite as easy as it might
the next 50 years, $41 trillion is expected to pass from
one generation of Americans to another—through inheritance,
taxes, and charitable bequests. What that means, for individuals
and society, may depend upon how fully individuals are able
to embrace the gifts contained in the money that comes to
of people will talk to you about how to get a good return
on your investment and increase your financial wealth. In
the psychological arena, many will advise you about how
to overcome the negative effects that wealth can bring.
(See p. 38 for resources to counter “affluenza.”)
In this journal issue, we have chosen, instead, to examine
a less discussed, but crucial, question. Here, we explore
how your gift can make you, and the world you live in, whole.
Our intention is to help you uncover, as easily and enjoyably
as possible, the gift in the wealth that is yours. We want
your gift, like the talents entrusted to the servants in
the parable, to fulfill its purpose: to be multiplied .
does it mean to multiply wealth, beyond simply multiplying
the numbers that measure wealth? Inside these pages, people
are figuring that out. They talk about the challenges, not
just of having money, but of making that money sing.
do you keep money from ruining your children? How do you
use it to enhance their lives? What do you do if you’re
a professional athlete who has just signed a big contract
and it’s front-page news? How do you respond to all
those people asking you for money to fund their dreams?
What if you’re the wife of a wealthy man and you’re
living what looks like a fabulous life, but it’s not
fulfilling your soul? How do you awaken the joy that lies
asleep in your life? And what if you’re the chief
of an American Indian tribe whose whole community has become
wealthy through casino gambling? How do you turn that money
into a transformational tool?
are just a few of the questions addressed in these pages.
I hope you will use this journal as a handbook and guide,
as you navigate the territory of change and decision-making
that comes with newly-acquired money—whether it is
inherited, earned, received through a lottery win or divorce
settlement, or through some other expected or unexpected
read, it may be helpful to remember that while the people
in these pages have resolved at least some of their challenges
and questions, the process of getting there can be unclear,
chaotic, and even, sometimes, painful. That is not unusual
(though it’s not always the case). If you should find
it happening to you, you might remember the words of Nietzsche:
“One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth
to a dancing star.”
this journal issue will make your transitions smoother and
lighter than they otherwise might be. I hope it makes your
own gift easier to embrace. And, most of all, I hope that
in fully embracing the gift entrusted to you, you enable
it to bear full fruit.
© 1990-2005, More Than Money, All rights reserved