Reflections: Write a letter to money


Money. Some swear by it, others believe it to be the root of all evil. Which is it?

To find out, write a letter to money. I didn’t come up with the idea. Jen Sincero, author of ‘You are a Badass’ at Making Money, did.

“I wrote a letter to money,” says Sincero in an interview, “I couldn’t believe how revealing it was.” Writing a letter to money, she said, will lay bare your hidden feelings about it.

And so I thought, why not?

Here’s my letter.

Dear Money,

I hope this letter finds you well, hopefully tucked in a bank vault somewhere and not some unsavoury place like in a tiny strip of a waistband at a strip club.

My name is Edward. I’m sure you already know me, just like you know everyone in the whole world, seeing as they deal with you on a daily basis. But I thought it would be the polite thing to do to introduce myself, as I have never written to you before.

Why am I writing to you now? Well, I got the idea from this American writer, but that’s a long story. What’s important is the reason I am writing to you. I want to tell you how I feel about you.

I’ll be honest. I’m not exactly sure about my feelings for you, Money. Speaking generally, on the one hand, I’ve seen you do good: helping the needy, building hospitals and whatever. On the other hand, I’ve seen you break families apart, fighting over you. People are murdered because of you. Some you’ve turned into the conniving serpent in the Garden of Eden, made them scumbags in thought and in deeds, all so they could get a hold of you.

Maybe I’m being unfair, placing the responsibility of people’s actions, good or bad, on you, when all you probably do is bring out the true nature of a person.

Speaking for myself, I don’t get to see as much of you as I’d like to. And I would like to see much of you. Not so I can buy a big car for people to see me in it (though I would like a big car). Or so that I can impress young women because they know I’m well acquainted with you. No, my reasons are bit more complicated.

It’s just when I get to see much of you, I feel secure, insulated from the uncertainties of life; my OCD doesn’t act up as much. On some level, I know this is absurd. It’s not you; it’s me. You’re important to me, Money, a brother’s gotta eat, but I’ve got to internalise that it’s not what I have that should make me feel secure, it’s what I am.

I can’t put it on you to make me feel safe. I have to fix me first so I can be a better man around you, so you’re not emotionally drained, feeling like you’re responsible for my happiness.

I do want you, Money. I just want to be ready that when you do come to me, give yourself to me, what you’ll find inside the man is something good. That way, what you’ll bring out in me will be good too.

When I’m ready, you’ll know. See you soon, Money.

Yours sincerely,

You know who.

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe – Gustave Flaubert

Try it.