Saturday, June 05, 2010

Parrot stewardship

Suzi Orman is a financial guru. She regularly tells people how to have more money. One of the things that fascinates me about Suzi Orman is that she tells people, “You must give away a significant amount of your money to someone else. Someone who is not related to you. Someone for whom you are not obligated to care.”

She tells this story to illustrate her point. In Mexico in the Mercado, she saw a man who was selling parrots. All of the parrots were perched with no cages, yet the parrots were not flying away. Suzi talked to the man to find out how he could keep the birds from flying away. He told her that he trained them to believe that if they let go of the perch they would die. Suzi says, “And that’s how we are about our money. We clutch it so tightly that we believe that if we let go of it we will die. However, what we need to realize is that it is only when we open our hands to give away what we hold so dear that our hand is open to receive the gifts that can come to us. We cannot receive anything with closed fists. Only open hands can give and receive.”

I find it fascinating that a completely secular financial guru gives advice that has such a profoundly religious basis. When we focus on hanging onto our stuff, we make our stuff our God. When we listen deeply and intently for God’s voice regarding the use of the stuff, we discover that God provides.
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