My Dad was an influential man in the time of the patriarchy…yet he did not abuse his power and privilege. He treated everyone as his equal. He remembered his humanity. He used to say of the big wigs: they have to put their pants on one leg at a time just like everyone.
At his work, they called him a “grey beard”…to me, that was their way of honoring him as an elder.
He knew that as a man, the cards were stacked in his favor. So he shared generously of his bounty with those he loved. He gave freely from his heart to help others, even as he worked insane hours for Dell—late night meetings with factories overseas, flying across the world for weeks at a time, and a lifestyle that resulted in a brain stem stroke…from which he recovered fully. Sure, he was financially compensated for his sacrifices because they needed his wisdom.
They needed an elder.
As an elder, my Dad was a walking miracle in a world of younger souls striving for external power and worth through money and privilege. The miracle he gave freely was love and generosity and humbleness.
He never used his privilege to exalt himself over another person. And when he gave, he gave without strings.
One time when he was particularly flushed with prosperity, he gave my cousin the down payment for a house for his young family. My cousin swore “I’ll pay you back.” My Dad seemed to agree that this was a loan, from my vantage point.
But as the years stretched on, my cousin never did make even a single repayment. My Dad was unfazed. Even as my parents fell into financial stress, my Dad never brought up the repayment from my cousin as a solution to their crisis.
I sure did! I was outraged. “He owes you Dad! It’s not fair he took advantage that way and hasn’t had the integrity to make good on his promise.”
My Dad got quiet and brought the energy in the room to that sacred place I know very well now.
He said, “When I gave him that money, it didn’t have any strings. Never give money unless you can give it freely. He doesn’t owe me anything. Relationships are more important than money.”
Wow. I was stumped by that response for many years.
I get it now. And I think this lesson is really up for consideration on the planet right now as the patriarchy comes to a close.
You have to ask yourself whether you value money as a tool of power, influence, acquisition, and getting others to do what you want so you can have the most toys and be the king…
Or whether you value relationships and use money to help others when your heart calls you to.
We have been playing Monopoly long enough.
My Dad always hated that game. It teaches the wrong lessons.
He was something greater than any King could ever be.
He was a human being with heart.