What my Goddaughters Taught me about Money

What my goddaughter taught me about money

My goddaughter called last week . . .

She and her sister wanted to come visit me on my farm about 2 hours from where they live in Denver.

This was nothing new. What WAS new (and a bit scary for me!) was that Carol would be driving them here.

My little girl has a driver’s license!

I was thrilled they were coming but surprised at my worry. I’m not generally a worrier. But I made sure they’d arrive before dark – the roads out in the country can be very dark! – and that they give me updates along the way.

The upshot is that they made it here safely and, as always, we had a wonderful time together.

In the letdown after their departure I reflected on what a gift these two girls have been to me, since the day Carol was born 16 years ago, and her sister 2 years later.

How does this relate to my work as a money coach?

Well, I’ve been exploring the idea of ‘alternative’ forms of ‘capital’ – in other words, capital other than money. I’d recently read an old article1 that proposed 8 forms of capital:

  1. Financial – the most familiar one, money
  2. Material – non-living physical objects
  3. Social – influence, connections
  4. Spiritual – for example, karma
  5. Intellectual – knowledge
  6. Experiential – experiences
  7. Cultural – shared parts of a community
  8. Living – Animals, plants, water, soil

In this article, social capital is described mostly in political, business, and community terms, but I am beginning to see that social capital extends far beyond this description.

Social capital to me means the blessing of these two girls in my life, and the love they’ve returned to me more than 1,000-fold for my love and contribution to raising them. This kind of capital cannot even be compared to financial capital, they are so vastly different.

And yet we live as if money is the only true capital.

I love how this model of ‘capital’ invites us to expand our thinking about what is valuable in our world and to take the focus off the one form of capital that has become so grossly over-emphasized and over-valued in our culture.

When I look at my life in terms of the 8 forms of capital, I open to how incredibly rich I am, right here, right now.  For me, this more expanded view of wealth reminds me that every day I can thoroughly enjoy how very rich I am!

What about you? What forms of capital (i.e. wealth) are most important to you? How can you bring more awareness of all the forms of your wealth to each day of your life?

1. Ethan Roland & Gregory Landua, Permaculture Magazine #68, www.appleseedpermaculture.com/8-forms-of-capital/