The value of money
The form and composition of money may change (e.g. livestock, beads, metal, paper, bitcoins, etc.)—but its significance remains. “Money is a fact of life, yet most of us understand it far less than we do those other ‘facts of life.’ And almost none of us has stood in its presence the way we might with a redwood, a Rembrandt, or a starry desert night.”* It’s worth looking at how we arrived at our ideas and values about money—how we were raised, the money memories we have, the array of inherited conversations, what money signifies about us, etc. (not to mention the seemingly random fluctuation of markets, fads, and industries). It’s difficult to have an effective working relationship with anything or anyone when we don’t know what or who is operative—or worse, when we identify something as something it is not.
When we get underneath our values to see where they came from, what’s there is nothing—and from there we can begin to invent and establish values. In other words, we can go and create something we know that “we” created, and not be stuck with it, because we can again create something else. Sometimes it’s not so easy to live with the contradictions between our old views and new perspectives, new values, new horizons of living. It’s not a matter of tossing out our knowledge and experience—it’s a matter of getting possible blind spots out of the way so there isn’t anything between us and what we’re engaging with.
*Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, Contemplating Money, New Dimensions Journal, 1990
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