Life is interesting out here near the end of the world. We don't have TV. Some of us don't even listen to the radio much! Or go on the Internet, other than to see how wrong the weather is this time!
We just work and play away each day trying to get everything done that needs doing, but knowing we never will. And not minding it much either.
Every once in awhile someone comes along and tells us we're having a "recession." When this happens, we all stop for a moment and get real sad faces on and say, "Awwww, we're having a recession!". Then we just go back to working wood, digging in the garden or whatever it was we were doing, same as before.
Personally I don't believe in recessions. I believe in people. I believe in natural laws. And I believe it's darn hard to change either one. I mean who can stop the sun from rising or take away the seasons. Who can still the tides? And who but me can really change the way I am or the way I think?
The economy? Well that's something human persons created. It's like an imaginary itch we all seem to think needs scratching from time to time. And darned if it isn't usually in places that are hard to reach. Seems to move around a lot too.
I think this particular itch is actually an allergy to greed. And I might even get depressed about it, if I didn't know the world really is full of lots of good people. They just get nervous and concerned and yes, even a little desperate every so often. But most of us just do the best we can with what we've got and hope things will get better.
Most folks think of a recession as sort of like a depression, only shorter. But a recession can also suggest going backward or becoming more distant. So while economists prattle about a decline in economic trade and so-called prosperity for the wealthy folks . . . those of us out here near the end of the world wonder what all the fuss is about.
It's not like the economy is based on anything really important. It's really only about money. It's not about air, or water, or the permanent loss of one's health. Now those are things we maybe should be worrying about; but money? Heck, I think money is one of our worst inventions and most likely we'd all be a lot better of without it!
In fact, just for a moment, let's imagine what it would be like if we all woke up tomorrow morning in a world without money! Just imagine how it might be!
A World Without Money?
In a world without money, two interesting things might happen. But first we better reduce the idea to a smaller scale. Take Anytown, USA, for instance.
In Anytown and the surrounding area there'd be lots of places with lots of busy people. That's why all these places would be known as "businesses!" And everyone would be involved in "things" somehow or another. Things that everyone needs or think they do.
In some places people would be farming: producing things to eat. In others they'd be baking bread or making shoes or sewing clothes. There would also be places to go for service kinds of things like healing or hair cutting.
Others would do sharing work. They'd help when the time came to build a home or harvest a crop.
The people doing all these things would be happy. This is so because they would be making things or serving others with their skills because they wanted too, not because they were being paid to do so.
I don't know about you, but if I were in a place like that I'd still be doing just what I am now. I think you would too. But there are lots of folks out there who wouldn't.
Oh, by the way, the nice part about this crazy "new" world I've described is just what you've probably guessed. But before I tell you the nice part, I know most of you are thinking how it would never work. And you're probably right since there's so much greed in the world today. But the really interesting part is that it's already been done!
You doubt it?
Well doubt no more, for all of us have ancestors who at some point in time lived in just the way I've described. And they even managed to live well, or thought they did.
Some of my ancestors were Native Americans. Their culture was really a lot like the picture I've painted. Some say their civilization didn't work. But from what I know, it seems to have done just fine for many, many years.
Until greed entered the picture.
A Different Kind of Place
If you or I woke up tomorrow in a world without money, we'd be in a very different place than we are now.
I'd be making things out of wood. When you needed one of the things I make, you'd come on over and select whatever it was you wanted. I'd beam with pride as you looked over my wares and bless you for giving me the chance to serve your needs; for appreciating my skill and for needing what I do and who I am.
When I needed things I didn't make, I'd go on over to where ever they did those kinds of things and they'd give me whatever it might be because that's the way it worked. Of course this is an over simplification, because actually we are talking the foundation of trading here, which was originally called "sharing" by the native peoples.
Each sharing with all others, based upon mutual need, brings to mind the second interesting thing that might happen (you thought I forget!?) . . . the elimination of crime, almost.
Why would you steal shoes when they are free for the taking? Stealing would be more work than just receiving what is already your due!
Everyone contributes to the common good in a world like this because they are nurtured to do so. It is convenient and it makes for security and for common joy and contentment.
Oh sure, once in awhile there'd be a person who decided to do things differently. But really the system itself takes care of them. If they do good things, even if they are different, and others decide they need these new different things, it works. If not, well no demand will pretty much end supply! And any technology gained from the experiment will ultimately filter it's way into the common pool of knowledge as the innovator finds his/her niche.
And lazy folks? Well they just sort of feel unwanted. And after all, they'd really be rare, more or less. The value system would see to that. After all, a common rule was reaping what one sows . . . no sowing means no reaping.
Bad folks? Well they just aren't tolerated. It becomes more convenient for bad folks to be elsewhere.
Maybe it wasn't perfect, but it was a system that lasted for centuries. If it worked, it didn't need to be perfect.
An Agreed Upon God
Thinking of imperfection brings me back to the present. Viewing things from out here near the end of the world gives one an interesting perspective.
What I see are countless millions who worship a mutually agreed upon god. The name of this god is $MONEY$. Almost everyone is busily engaged in the pursuit of accumulating ever growing piles thereof. I would guess a full 99% of all the activity on the face of the earth today revolves around this one single goal . . . even in the case of people who already have enough money in their personal piles to live as gods for millennia!
Strange, no? Since we all have such short little lives, why do some us feel we need enough cash to last us for a thousand years?
And if the god of our times is MONEY, then the negative entity or "devil", or anti-god, must be fear.
Fear of what or whom? Well again, this is all just the mutterings of a mule-brained back-country simpleton, but it seems to me that folks don't really fear the lack of money near as much as they fear a life without the pursuit of some form of material wealth!
After all, what else is there to life, right?
Seems like these days we are taught from the cradle that we won't be loved or lovable unless we achieve "financial security".
I remember when I told my family I'd really rather major in music than finance or business. I quickly decided it would have been safer and more peaceful to have informed them I had leprosy and was planning to wed a heroin addict who was with child!
I was shunned! And counseled. Then scorned. Ultimately tolerated. And these days, perhaps even respected!
But nevertheless, the world is changing. And that's what we are really seeing, not a recession. It's merely a changing.
People are getting tired of dying for illusions. And for greed.
This old world can only support so much greed and so much capitalism and just so many piles of cash. After awhile, a time of reckoning comes along. And endings happen . . . and with them bright new beginnings!
That's why I don't really believe in recessions or "bad times". Emerson put it fairly well when he said, "These times, like all times, are good times for those who but know what to do with them."
Folks are looking for a better way to be. They want a kinder, gentler way of life for themselves and for their children and their children's children on unto the seventh generation! I believe that folks like you and me are helping make that dream a reality.
And since I see so much good, so much love and genuine "over-coming," going on these days I really can't feel any other way.
No More Cash?
Oh, by the way, I'm not really suggesting we burn our money and become a barter-based economy overnight. That would take a cooperative effort totally beyond anything we can imagine at this point in our history. What I am saying is this:
Let's all of us begin to realize what we are about. Let's get hold of ourselves and start working to shift our priorities away from a value system rooted in money and material wealth-building. It's time we realized that "outer" things will never make us happy unless we've first come to peace with all those absolutely essential "inner" things!
I think we are seeing the beginnings of this already. If only we can keep the wheel in motion something wonderful will happen. All people will become as one . . . a single, unified, international human family of noble, caring beings who love each enough to share . . . enough in fact to end all game-playing and facade-building.
Folks in a world like that accept each other for what they are and enjoy being, together.
When this kind of universal love is truly extant, greed will never again have the power to steal our peace nor tempt us toward the wanton rape of our life-giving Earth Mother! And that is something you really can take to the bank!
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