Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
American Indian Prophesy
When I bought my flat as a student, the couple who owned it previously left a picture with this written on it in the bathroom. I loved it, but I don’t think the sentiment they were trying to portray was the way I took it. I looked much younger than 18 at the time, despite being 23. They assumed mummy and daddy were paying for the property and treated me not like a purchaser of their home but a spoiled brat. They assumed wrong, I bought it all by myself without borrowing any money from my family.
They were a horrible couple in their 30s who left behind a mountain of debt that I had to sort out by proving they did not live there anymore and that I wasnt actually the previous owner pretending to be someone else. The irony of their message and behaviour was not lost on me.
I have to thank them for leaving it behind. It is something I think of often. It taught me that money isn’t everything at a crucial time in my life. It made me realise that if I worry about money, I will end up with money worries. It taught me to be self sufficient and not to get into debt. As soon as I was in a position to grow my own food, I did, always with the prophesy in mind.
It is as important a message today as it was back then and it will be as important tomorrow as the day it was originally made.