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Blog 16: Money Is A Metaphor

July 26th, 2013 Evelyn Cole


If fiction is a metaphor for life, then money is a metaphor for basic human needs: security, control, and approval (which can also be called survival, power, and love.)

Shakespeare’s Iago wasn’t kidding when he said, “Put money in thy purse”. If you can’t win your love, at least you’ll have money and the power that comes with it.
A metaphor is an implicit analogy.”The Lord is my shepherd” means the Lord relates to me as a shepherd relates to sheep.
“Money is the root of all evil” means that money supports and maintains evil as a root supports and maintains its plant.
Have you ever argued about money? If so, hang with me here.
Money can be a symbol of parental love. Withheld and diverted to siblings, it’s a major root to sibling rivalry.
Money gives us power, the illusion of control. The one in control of the money makes the decisions, buys the security, comfort, admiration, and love.
When aging parents give us their power of attorney, they relinquish control. When they die we are apt to fight over their possessions, a metaphor for their love.
My example:  with recognition of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, my sister and I shared responsibility for parents who lived five years beyond debilitating strokes. My father attempted suicide; my mother begged me to kill her.
When my mother died at ninety, my sister told me that our mother had promised her diamond rings to her. I didn’t care about the diamonds, but I felt the old jealousy as if I were five years old again.~~***~~

Example of test of the tooth:
In the ’80s I found myself alone, riding on a camel, rocking and rolling up the path to the Pyramids outside Cairo, Egypt. I was more afraid of the Bedoin leading the camel than the very tall camel itself. When we reached the base of the pyramid the Bedoin would not command his camel to kneel so I could get off. He wanted me to pay him with an American dollar and I had only Egyptian and British coins.
He stormed around the upright camel a few times and then finally reached up for my British coin and bit it. Since it didn’t break, he made the camel kneel and let me off. My money passed the test of the tooth.
Have you ever disagreed with your partner or another relative on his or her use of money?
Have you ever disagreed with yourself?
If so, print two copies of this MONEY FIGHT-SAVER below. Fill it out and exchange with the one you disagree with regularly.


MONEY QUESTIONNAIRE (fight-saver) print two copies

1.   Family income as you were growing up in relations to your friends, relatives and neighbors:   Lower ______ Same _____ Higher _____

2.  Do you recall what you felt about your family’s income in relation to that of your peers? Recall any incidents?

3.  Did you often hear an aphorism about income such as “A penny earned is a penny       saved” or “Neither a borrower nor a lender be for loan oft loses self and friend”? If so write the one you remember.

4. Who repeated the aphorism to you? _____________________________

5. Do you agree with it? ___________

6a. Have you witnessed or found yourself in repeated conflict in your primary family over money? If so, describe a typical conflict:

6b. Have you been in repeated conflict in your current family over spending and earning issues? If so, describe a typical conflict:

7. What word comes to mind first about money? _____________

8. Think about your father or mother (choose one) and recall ways he or she had contradictory habits with saving and spending.

9. Consider the fact that lottery winners often end up broke. Why do you think this happens?
10. On a scale of one to ten with TEN being generous with time, energy and money and ONE stingy,

how would you rate yourself? _______ your partner ______ your best friend _____ your mother _____ your father ______ your sister______ your brother _____ other:


Fill this out as honestly as you can, ask others to do so, also, then find the courage to share it with each other.

Remember that everyone deals with money based on his emotional experiences with it.

Understanding this fact can save fights and, now and then, make you laugh.



Written by Evelyn Cole

Evelyn Cole

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