Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Relating the Seven Teachings to Personal Finance, Part 1

In Aboriginal culture, The Seven Teachings are used to help shape the spirit and growth of a person's life, whether they be a child or an adult. The teachings are meant to be used by a person internally, to help them along the 'good path' of life.

The Seven Teachings are: Honesty, Humility, Truth, Wisdom, Love, Respect, and Bravery.

Thinking about personal finance, I decided to reflect on how these teachings could be used to guide me on my 'good path' with money. This is what I came up with.

Honesty: to achieve honesty within yourself; to recognize who and what you are; do this and you can be honest with all others; I think that this would apply to the 'keeping up with the Joneses' syndrome. If you are honest with yourself, you recognize that perhaps your income doesn't allow you to have everything you want or desire. Honesty requires you to think about why you want things that others have. Honesty keeps you from acquiring debt, because an honest life lived means that you don't spend money that you haven't yet earned. You can tell people honestly that you live within your means, or below, and you don't *need* to buy things frivolously.

Humility: humble yourself and recognize that no matter how much you think you know, you know very little of all the universe; Being humble in your life, again allows you to live within or below your means. Recognizing that you know very little of the universe, you can realize that your education is an ongoing acheivement. Of all the things you already know, there may be a new way, or idea, that could be helpful, and you can learn from anyone at any time. Keep yourself from thinking that you already know enough, and keep learning, especially when it comes to your finances.

Truth: to learn truth, to live with truth and to walk with truth, to speak truth; This alludes again to honesty. Learning truth, I feel, means to accept your situation, whatever that may be. If you are in deep debt, accept that as the truth of your situation. Living with truth may mean that you have to stop acquiring debt, or merely accepting the fact that you may never be as wealthy as you had hoped to be. Walking with truth may mean to become content with with what you have, and to not covet the lives or things that others have. Accept who you are, and where you are at would be to walk the truth of your life. To speak truth, you must be able to talk openly and honestly with your spouse, your children and your family about your situation. Talking about your money, your debt, and your goals and dreams with those you love is a lesson in truth for all involved.

I'll post tomorrow on the Teachings of Love, Respect, and Bravery with respect to personal finance. In the meantime, tell me what you think about how these teachings can be related to personal finance in ways that I may not have thought of. I too, am still learning from others. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

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