There have been a numerous reports recently about the economic woes of Las Vegas in the aftermath of the real estate collapse and
the current recession. With unemployment figures of over 12
percent, the highest mortgage default rate in the country, and a state
budget that has gone bust, the capital of glitter, over-indulgence, and excessive risk-taking appears to waking up to quite a hangover.
In Money Coaching, Las Vegas as a city symbolizes what we call “the
Fool” archetype (i.e…money type.) Archetypes are symbolic and represent
hidden patterns of behavior
(rather than one’s personality) and are very useful in helping us to identify and change our behaviors.
The Fool as an archetype is the classic risk-taker. He’s a gambler,
happy-go-lucky, optimistic, impulsive, and willing to let his bets
ride. Although these may seem in our current economy like negative
qualities, they aren’t always. In fact, we all need a little Fool
inside of us who is willing to take a chance on a new job, an
opportunity, or to see and move toward a larger possibility and
potential for our lives.
Where the Fool gets into trouble is when she doesn’t know her limits,
doesn’t do the necessary research or makes impulsive decisions that
have potential consequences. If we let ourselves be driven by the Fool
exclusively or for too long, we are almost certain to experience an
economic setback or painful lesson. After all, that’s the nature of
high-risk high-reward investing or gambling: you can win big
—– or —— you can lose everything.
If Las Vegas is a metaphor for the Fool, then maybe we can use it as a
mirror to examine our own patterns and behaviors. Haven’t we all, at some point, gambled or taken unnecessary risks without really examining the potential risks or consequences?
Certainly, many of us bought homes that we really couldn’t afford or
took out mortgages we didn’t really understand. But what about our
political processes, our social programs, or our ways of life? Have we
possibly “gambled” in ways that ultimately may not serve us?
The lesson of the Fool is one of balance. When the Fool has ruled us
too long, we inevitably find ourselves in a period of difficult
reorganization, which is where we are now. This can actually be a very good
Perhaps this recession is simply the lesson we needed to in order to become resolved to be more mindful around money so
that, as the old Who song suggests, “We Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
Peace & Blessings!