The Billion Dollar Man

by Annie Kaszina on November 20, 2005

Do you know that exciting and unnerving feeling when
different areas of your life come together in an unexpected way? It happened to me last week at a
conference. I was there in a different
capacity, as a Money Gym Coach, and the subject of the conference was Wealth
Creation.

 

How does this fit with a blog created  for abused
women? I believe it does because
abusive relationships create an overwhelming climate of scarcity – scarcity of
love, care and respect, as well as money.

Abusive men safeguard their power by keeping their partner
at subsistence level. Scarcity is a
powerful tool of oppression. In the old
Soviet Union you would have to queue for hours, at least, in the hope of buying
a banana. In an abusive relationship
you can expend vast amounts of emotional energy in the hope of ‘earning’ a
little kindness.

Wealth, on the other hand, can and should mean
abundance. When an abusive relationship
ends, a woman does not suddenly change her perspective so that she truly
believes she is worthy of financial and spiritual abundance. Unfortunately. Generally, she expects to soldier on, running on empty, without
dreams or expectations.

On the second day of the conference, the wonderful Nicola
Cairncross and Judith Morgan
talked about the 4 ways to create wealth and then
asked who in the audience was willing to share their financial goal. A man called Stewart said that he wanted to
make a billion pounds sterling. (Sharp intake of breath from around the room.)

As the session drew to a close, Judith Morgan announced an
X Factor type competition leading to a free place on the Money Gym. Contestants would have to explain why they
should be chosen.

The first up was Stewart. He wanted to make £1,000,000,000 so he could put a refuge for women in
every town in the UK. His mother had
been a battered woman and he wanted to do his part to provide women with a safe
haven. The energy in the room change completely.

Other people stood up and shared their vision. None was selfish. When they had all spoken, Judith shared the rules of the game
with us. Each Money Gym coach would
choose to work, unpaid, with a contestant. It fell to me to choose first and I chose Stewart – it was a no brainer.

Afterwards Stewart hugged me and said to me that his
mother was an angel. I hugged him and
couldn’t help thinking he wasn’t far short himself.

I don’t know the details of Stewart’s story, just that he
grew up witnessing devastating outbursts of violence.
He told
me:

“In those
days, back in the late 60’s early 70’s, there was little or nowhere to turn for
battered women, especially for a Jamaican woman (his mother), who could hardly
read and write. Thank goodness things have changed since then! To this day I know that she has
never talked to anyone about that abusive period in her life.”

Any child who witnesses domestic violence, feels forced to
side emotionally with one parent or the other. I’ve known little girls who prefer to identify with a violent father,
because there is some small comfort in siding with the powerful parent rather
than the powerless one. Boys, especially,
tend to identify with a violent father. Stewart, clearly, did not.

Stewart is breaking the mould.

For
all of us who, at some level, still harbour old prejudices (born of bitter
experience) about men, it’s good to hear about the Stewarts of the world. If anyone would like to hear about Stewart’s
progress over the next year, I’ll be delighted to keep you posted.

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