I’ve been watching a few documentaries…. shot from all points of view on some recent happening in our country and the subsequent financial wake we and the rest of the world, are now all navigating. Some of them were alarming some very inspiring with practical suggestions about what we could now do to remedy the sometimes dire financial deficits it’s left in it’s wake.
Needless to say, there is nothing whatsoever new in these suggestions. Nevertheless, what did work at one time will most assuredly work now.
The most inspiring one of all was about a group of merchants and interested consumers who have formed a collective for the manufacturing, sharing, trading, and selling of goods and services. They have a ‘Time Bank’ they can contribute their ‘time’ into and exchange for someone else’s time…they have a ‘Block Bank’ and that is where your whole neighborhood can share, for example, a tool, that may only have been put to use by you once a year anyway.
They pool their transport and all contribute to the repairs or replacements of said items as and when required. It’s all drawn up in an agreement you sign when you join. They have inspired many others across the country to replicated their practices. It originates in Bellevue, Washington.
They’re inspired with a simple philosophy: ‘you only need so much money’, and some money is just too damn expensive to make, and, we must now define our needs and understand the difference between absolute ‘needs’ and whimsical ‘wants’. I, we, must now define the one and tame the other. On this decision hangs the hope of our future…. in this hour,… on a world wide basis, a road map for the future will be drawn.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead (1901–1978) American cultural anthropologist
All of the documentaries I watched were informative. The most notable one was called: ‘Fix the Future’. You can view it on NetFlicks and you’ll find the lyrics to the song that plays in the background especially narrative chronicling our, shall we say…, rough ride.
With the wonder afforded me, through the lens of the now infamous 20/20 hindsight , I think I was asleep at the wheel, – while the ‘magicians behind the curtain’ were working the switches and it seems many of us were dreaming some mistaken notion of the ‘American Dream’ and during our slumbering hours, a nightmare was being meticulously crafted. It appears that this was not an accident, it was created with malicious aforethought with the greed of the few, riding rough shod or the poverty of the many. This ‘incident’ , it must be remembered has affected the entire world.
Moving on, as we will and must, I am deeply moved with the conviction that we’re all getting some rather difficult lessons- it seems we did indeed deserve some of them and gratefully, we’re learning from them.
Many of my personal friends as well as business colleagues seem invigorated with a dedication to apply these hard won lessons into the financial practices of our personal lives as well as our business decisions. We participated in the party, each in our own way, and now we’ve been conscripted as clean-up crew, finding ourselves at the end of a broom sweeping up, sometimes sifting through, the debris.
In nature, storms are for clearing.
We have a renewed sense of community. We are all finding our heart, exactly where it ought to be, brimming with compassion for those not as well off as we are. And many of us spend more time counting our blessings. This takes up the time we might have spent complaining. We are actively seeking ways to be of assistance to one another. We now all know, that if we have any loose change at all… anywhere in the house or in our pockets, we are among the wealthy…richer by far than almost 90% of the world’s population. By the way, did you really know that ‘fact’?
Nonetheless, we need to know what happened for if we ‘ostrich hide’ ourselves, butt naked,… plumes wafting, at the best of times, or ripped out with gale force winds in from the north. Unless we somehow comprehend the ruin that took only a few years to create, we can, and probably will repeat history. And if you look at the dates on these following quotes, you’ll deduce as I did, that we did not hold the ground our antecedents once gained.
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” Frederic Bastiat, “The Law” (1850)
Here’s another one I like: “All that’s needed for things to go wrong, is for enough good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke 1790’s