Financial Wellness Plan & Amplifying Diverse Voices
The purpose of our regular Great Reads feature has always been to reduce the mind-boggling number of smart and interesting articles, blog posts, podcasts (and occasional comic strips) produced in a given month to a manageable selection that might be of help or interest to our clients, friends, and colleagues.
I’ve been curating this list since 2013, and that means it’s always been a reflection of what happens to strike my fancy or get me riled up…which means that it’s too-narrowly informed by my view of the world and the many biases I carry, both consciously and unconsciously.
For years, I’ve told myself that I’m trying hard to find diverse perspectives to fill this list. I have actually done a terrible job of it. This is the first month in seven years the list is full of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous women and it wasn’t that hard to find them, which means I could have been doing a better job of amplifying black and brown voices for years and just…didn’t. Because racism. I don’t intend to go back to the old, comfortable, white-centered way of putting my reading list together, but when I slip up, you should call me on it.
I’m delighted to announce one specific change that is designed to broaden our gaze here at Spring. Starting next month, the Great Reads feature will be curated in turns by other team members, including Darryl Brown, Kathryn Mandelcorn, and Karen Richardson. Getting to take a back seat to the brilliance of our team has been one of the great joys of building this company, and I’m so glad to have another opportunity to share their brilliance and perspective with you.
This month, there is much brilliance to share, including:
- Jacquette Timmons’ reminder to repair the source of stress instead of trying to fix its symptoms
- Rianka Dosainvil’s truth that finance is inseparable from culture
- Eugenié George’s personal financial wellness plan that puts financial health in its rightful place, entwined with physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being
In addition to these articles, there’s:
- A damning summary of all the ways our institutions are designed to disenfranchise the many Indigenous people in Canada
- Another article from Jacquette Timmons about finding motivation in times of crisis, (if motivation is the right thing for the moment you’re in)
- A list of practical action you can take to support Black Lives Matter here in Canada
- How the personal finance world upholds systemic racism, and what to do about it
- Help identifying and getting free from financial abuse
- An unflinching look at the source and remedy of white discomfort when confronted with racism
- What community leaders in Hamilton, Ontario propose as a practical anti-racist solution
- An urgent call for radical change to how we treat our elders at the end of life
From Jaquette Timmons
“I’ve come to view managing stress in the same way: Oftentimes, where and how the stress reveals itself is not the source of the stress.
“Unfortunately, conflating these two points can cause you and me to make a critical mistake when it comes to effectively managing stress. This happens when you seek immediate relief from the stress, but don’t invest the effort and time to identify the root cause of the stress…
“Overwhelmed with debt, so you focus on cutting expenses. This is logical and certainly provides immediate relief. But the root could be that you need to earn more money…
“With regards to this week’s events, it’s akin to looking just for the quickest, shortest way to alleviate the physical, emotional and financial pain of racism, but without wanting to admit systemic racism permeates our society.”
Read the full article here.
From Rianka Dorsainvil
“The truth is every aspect of your finances is directly impacted by your identity and culture. If cultural background is ignored, you’re less likely to step into making positive and impactful financial decisions for your life. Every culture has different ways of viewing personal finances. Even within one culture, you might find that there are different ways that money is discussed or used.”
Read the full article here.
From Eugenié George
“We forget how our habits, beliefs, ancestry, gender, and societal circumstances create our habits consciously and unconsciously. From interviewing 40 Women of Color. It was clear that many of our ideas are still generated by our ancestry.
“But for some reason, most of us separate every category in our lives: Health, wealth, relationships, career, etc. And most of us exclude how money plays a role in our mental health and wellness.”
Read the full article here.
You can read this month’s entire list below, and browse through past lists here.
“Although we are in an era of so-called ‘reconciliation,’ the colonial practices that were first enacted in order to clear and claim a country have never ended. These practices include (but are not limited to), resource extraction, predatory capitalism, patriarchy, hetero-hormativity, and assimilation into European cultural norms, also known as white supremacy.
“While Indigenous resistance challenges each of these processes, they change forms through settler colonial time.
“As an example, while compulsory residential school attendance officially ended with amendments to the Indian Act in 1951, it transformed into the Sixties Scoop. The mass apprehension of Indigenous children from their families to white foster care and adoption that lasted into the mid-1980s and continues today.
“There are many more examples of this shape-shifting. Continued economic disenfranchisement, racially motivated violence, overrepresentation in prisons, under funding of Indigenous students per capita, and of course, racial profiling, are the modern manifestation of everything from the Doctrine of Discovery to the Indian Act.”
“Look, there’s no one way to go through this or any crisis. And, I suspect we may need to continue to recalibrate as the reverberations of this continue to unfold. In the process, if you find yourself experiencing time differently from those around you; if you find yourself with “all the time in the world,” but feeling unmotivated, come back to this post and choose to do one thing. It may be the thing that helps you move the needle.”
“We know it’s easy to feel helpless in the wake of these traumatic and violent events, but if the weekend’s protests have taught us anything, it’s that now is the time to take action. We’ve rounded up the many ways that you can amplify forces for change in Canada right now, from making a donation to signing a petition and more.”
“Remember that words mean things, even if they don’t mean those things to you. Learn to spot language of oppression, leave it out of talks of money and personal finance, and don’t put the burden on those already oppressed to point this stuff out to you. Do the work yourself.”
“Often, it can be hard for individuals to identify financial abuse because of patriarchal societal norms. ‘A lot of survivors discuss this grey area,’ says Docherty. ‘They’ve been socialized to believe that [men controlling the household] is normal behaviour in a relationship, so when does it blur into abusive behaviour?’”
“Discomfort should not mean silence. Looking away won’t change the real-life consequences that others experience. So the next time you feel uncomfortable and would rather look away, ask yourself: Why is your discomfort more important than the very real wounds that are being inflicted on others?”
“Instead of relying on police, we could rely on well-trained social workers, sociologists, forensic scientists, doctors, researchers and other well-trained individuals to fulfill our needs when violent crimes take place. In the event that intervention is required while a violent crime is ongoing, a service that provides expert specialized rapid response does not need to be connected to an institution of policing that fails in every other respect. Such a specific tactical service does not require the billions of dollars we waste in ineffective policing from year to year.”
“Our entire approach to aging, living and dying need to be re examined.”