More Than Money
Issue #10

Learning From Each Other

Table of Contents

“Lessons from My Aboriginal Family”

Some of my money I've made in a big ranch in Australia. I've spent a fair amount of time there with an aboriginal tribe who have taught me to see the absurdity of money. They have so little regard for possessions. When one of them catches a kangaroo they roast it and all eat. It would make no sense for one of them to try to hoard it: should a man decide to keep it all, after he gorged himself most of the food would rot. And then he wouldn't be welcome to a share when someone else got some food. On the rare occasions I've seen any of them get some money, in five minutes it's distributed among everybody, like the kangaroo. They experience sharing not as generosity, but as survival.

After a number of years I was named a child of this aboriginal family. The effect of this experience is to somewhat blunt my aggression in making more money, having seen the humor in my acquisitive behavior. For instance, I recall that I own 8000 cows in a ranch in Australia, with new cows born daily. Viewing this from the eyes of my aboriginal family I wryly ask myself: How much more food can I possibly use?

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