Fair warning: I’m a big Heather King fan. Her book, Redeemed, is a new favorite of mine. And having met Heather at an event, I can attest that she was as gracious and thoughtful as you might imagine from reading her work. That being said, Loaded surprised me.
This work appears in the great tradition of Fr. Dubay’s Happy are You Poor, another classic related to how we, as Catholics, deal with money. While Fr. Dubay’s book is more about spiritual poverty and what that means for the lay Catholic, Heather King’s book offers us an insight into what I suspect is a little-known disorder of compulsive poverty. This disorder takes many forms. Some people purposefully try not to make a lot of money–barely enough to survive–out of fear or low self-esteem or it may manifest in living a shabby style of life even with enough money to live differently. Whatever the manifestation, it is, at heart, a question of how people interact with money. And that, King explains well, is a deeply spiritual thing.
The book ranges in its discussion from why people may choose voluntary and even abject poverty to King’s personal account of why she left her then-lucrative life as an attorney to follow her passion. In many ways, the book is as much about following your passion in your work, even at the risk of decreasing your income, as it is about a broader discussion of money.
And through it all runs the underlying theme of recognizing your worth and asking to be treated in proportion to your worth. In other words, do not accept $100 for a speaking gig when you are worth $200. Do not underestimate yourself and your potential. We have all been given gifts and when we pursue them–like King pursuing her writing career rather than her legal career–we must understand our worth in relation to what we are trying to accomplish.
King’s insights gave me some new insights into how I relate to money and how I think about necessities in life. I think it will help many people think about money in a different way. We often have our senses clouded by the barrage of media sources and advertisements that show up in our inboxes, mailboxes, and driving through the streets wherever we live. King starts a conversation about the proper approach to money and may re-orient your own thinking as well. Read this in conjunction with Happy are You Poor and see both the spiritual and practical sides of the Christian struggle with money.
I received a complimentary copy of this book to offer an honest review.