Saturday, October 11, 2008

The World Goes Round

Money.





The word itself sizzles with meaning.

For each and every one of us, there is an undeniable relationship. Whether of ease or dis-ease, or something moderate in between, how we relate to money in our lives is often an enlightening reflection of our life in general.

That this is a global issue, an important factor in the definition of Humankind, has been never more apparent than this week while the world markets quake and shudder around the clock to the nuances of news from all corners. How we, as a world, cope with this opportunity will have an enormous influence on the shape and content of our individual futures.

Often since 911, I have the blasphemous thought of actually missing those few heady days immediately after, when the citizens of the World were united as one in grief and determination to overcome the evil in our midst that had been revealed. The power of the internet was incredible to witness when by that very afternoon and evening, the natural urge for revenge was already being supplanted by the electronic buzz of union.

Wonderful, impassioned essays cautioning against hitting back, pleading for love, understanding and forgiveness, floated amongst the smoke and ashes. The catastrophe, which had shown us the worst in a few people, brought out the best in most people, whether as obvious as the firemen full of fear still determined to climb those tower stairs, or the woman in Iowa who gave a rose to her butcher as acknowledgement between neighbors that we are all more Human than we are Arab, Anglo, or Asian.

Today, as if disturbed and surprised by aliens from Outer Space, we have the opportunity not to panic, but to unite around the world as one people, lending our hand, our support, our money to our neighbors.

After a second World War, the League of Nations was reorganized to become the United Nations, another refinement of the slow process of joining together, that same force which had so primitively (and selfishly) launched Columbus and Marco Polo to explore. A few years later, John Lennon, through music and unashamed LOVE, inspired our imaginations to go beyond the boundaries of our own particular shores and skins, "...and be as One."

This process of passing paper that we call “money” electronically, of fastening arbitrary values comparing one dollar to another yen, and organizing our lives around accumulating more of it in whatever denomination of the moment; this out-moded process does not have to be a crisis.


We have an opportunity to move beyond our imaginations. Let us bravely go forth!
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5 comments:

rebecca said...

well said, kip. right now the economy is certainly putting much fear into many and rightly so with the prospect of thousands of jobs that are being lost today and will continue to be lost tomorrow. i, myself, am fearful, i'll be truthful, but i am also not allowing it to overwhelm because i have no control over what happens -- the only control i have is the control of my pocket.

i also try to see the other side of things - the good and the bad, for example. what good can be said of all of this? that we need to begin to live within our means, that we need to find our way to simpler lifestyles that are more nourishing for the spirit, soul and pocket.

the days after 911 were exceptional. the feeling of unity that transcended color, race and economic status was evidently seen. wouldn't it be nice if we could see this again? unfortunately, considering our current election, it is veering way off into the opposite direction.

Laurie said...

Kip you say "We have an opportunity to move beyond our imaginations. Let us bravely go forth!"

What do you suggest by going forward? A world currency? Something else?

Carol said...

A very thoughtful and beautiful post Kip...

Kip de Moll said...

It's a good question, Laurie. I believe we are on a long, long road that will inevitably lead to more unification in all respects.

Rebecca, you speak to what we can do now which is to wrestle with our own fear and recognize that we are each just one of billions, do the best we can in our own little space.

Thanks, Carol, always a pleasure.

Ultimately, I would love to see another process like the Continental Congress of 1789 (hope you read this, StamperDad). The loose union of 13 states with separate laws and currencies was an abysmal failure. Brave men locked themselves away in a small room, and for an entire hot and humid (I grew up in Phila!) summer, they created a government which--for all its faults--every 4 years peacefully transitions according to the (mostly) will of a very diverse people.

The United Nations could actually be the vehicle, but it would take an enormous leap of faith by all of us to see our Ecuadorean, Sudanese, Laotian and Angolan citizens as equal to us Americans.

In the meantime, a system that rewards greed and selfishness has gotten us to this point. We have to find a better, fairer way.

As communication and education have expanded our understanding of the world, we have evolved from "cave states" to City states, to Nations. Beginning to explore beyond our planet, this step only seems logical and it could begin with harnessing a multi-national failsafe system controlling nuclear weapons: all the Presidents should turn their keys in to the Secretary General of the UN.

OK, I've said it. The CIA and KGB can make me disappear.

Kay Sexton said...

Wonderful thoughts! May your vision prevail ...