Happy Easter to all my Catholic and Protestant readers; hope you have enjoyed it so far and that the ones in the UK will enjoy the Bank Holiday tomorrow. We, however, are managing to sidestep Easter again this year: we are in Sofia at the moment and the Orthodox Ester is not until May, 5 (when John and our sons will be in Manchester and I’ll be in Cape Town, SA).
There is no intention behind this, I can assure you; in fact, in the cultural tradition I grew up with Easter is a much more important holiday than Christmas. I believe that there are two reasons for that.
First, Orthodoxy is much more practical and sceptical than its sister Christian churches (and we recognise only Catholicism anyway). Hence, we believe that celebrating Jesus’s birthday is a promise; it is so much more important to celebrate the dead (all this stuff about being on the cross and rising from the dead).
Second, there are pagan undertones – it is a spring holiday when we celebrate the new awakening of nature, celebrate last year’s fruitfulness and pray for the new season. This is why the ceremonies are a wonderful display of wealth and good cheer.
Having said this, I remember how about ten years ago going to the Easter service in Bulgaria was such a disappointment. I had already told John and the boys how wonderful the service is; the priests wearing their gold and precious stones, singing wonderfully (there are no musical instruments in Eastern Orthodoxy since the best instrument God has given us is our voice) and performing a spectacle well worth watching and taking part in.
Then we got to a service in Sofia; the priests were drunk and they could not hold a tune to save their lives; then the sky opened and there were rivers of water streaming down the streets. We got home soaked and I never mentioned anything about going to the Easter service again: just contented with the roast lamb and the special Easter bread (which my niece and sister are going to make next weekend).
Now let me tell you briefly about the articles that caught my attention during the last couple of weeks.
You already know that Paula Pant is one of my favourites on the Personal Finance blogging scene; mainly because her blog is not simply about money but she skilfully manages to weave it around life. She is also too wise for her age and too clever by a half. What struck a chord with me last week was her masterful statement that money is to buy us time not stuff – I couldn’t agree more. Just wish more people understood how profound this message is and take it to heart.
Len Penzo as usual made a strong point in an interesting way when asking why bag ladies have more sense than celebrities. Yep, too many people earning too much are getting in severe financial trouble and some of them go as far as filing for bankruptcy. This is another example that people’s financial health is a matter of precarious balances rather than one of absolute numbers.
It is such a pity I have no affinity with the land; in fact I am so estranged from the land that my great-grandfathers worshiped that I love the desert. Regardless, I do appreciate that growing things not only brings satisfaction but can also be very profitable. And I don’t mean vegetables and kitchen gardens; 101 Centavos reminded us that spending $100 can add thousands to our home value were we to plant a tree.
About twenty years ago I gave a presentation to a room-full of policy makers wearing a red suit; then we all missed lunch because they couldn’t stop asking questions some of which were fairly pointed. This is how I knew what the expression ‘to show red to a bull’ means but I didn’t know much about colours. This week an article by AverageJoe on the importance of colours for financial decisions made me remember. But when I read it I was just putting on my red dress to present to another group of people. Some people really learn the hard way!
Lately, I have been thinking more about guest posts – both about approaching some bloggers to offer them some and about accepting them. You know what? If you would like to submit a guest post to The Money Principle, please do! But before that read this article so your post really rocks!
I love it when people turn their reasoning around! In fact, the book I bought fastest in my life (and read immediately) was ‘How not to write a novel’; makes sense when you think about it – being a creative endeavour people can’t really tell you how to do it and all you need to do is to know how not to do it. This is what gives you the creative space. It is similar, I find, with people telling us how to succeed since my success is not necessarily your success. This week Leo Babauta told us how to make it impossible to fail – go read it!
Finally, Seth Godin reminded us that what gets done is the urgent and this is not usually the most worthy or the best. Stop doing what is urgent and start doing what gets you where you wish to be!
Now let me tell you about the latest with The Money Principle; and here I’ll need to brag:
The Money Principle articles were also included in the following carnivals of personal finance:
So long and thanks for reading. Speak soon.