A year ago we were in the middle of what some commentators were describing as the “Credit Crunch” or “The Financial Crisis” and we were in a recession. Since then things have not improved that much with the media informing us that we are still in a recession, whilst countries like France and Germany are out of it. Yet large companies like Tesco have recently announced profits of 1.4 billion pounds in the first half of 2009. Then to top it all there’s more in the news of ever-increasing bonuses for the City “Fat Cats” reaching the £6 billion mark, in spite of the fact that they were meant to have curbed this culture of over-payments. On the other hand us mere mortals continue to struggle with debts – paying off our debts to the bankers in the form of mortgages and credit cards.
You just can’t get away from it – money! Most of us don’t have enough of it, while an elite few, have way too much of it! Unless you are very rich, or a child or an old age pensioner, you need a job to get money to live on. You have to have money to pay your bills, pay your rent or mortgage, pay for the food and heating you use; pay for a social life if you can afford one. In a way we are all slaves to the great god called “Money”. There are very few people in the world today who are able to live without money in their lives. Maybe a few individuals in the so-called “Third World” countries who live by begging or subsistence farming?
We live in a world where if you want a job doing in your home or you want to be entertained, or you want to eat, you have to pay money to someone else for that privilege. Very rarely do you come across someone who will do something for you for nothing. Yet if you go back in time, there must have been a time when humans lived on the Earth without money. Everyone used their particular skills or gifts for the good of everyone else. Everyone shared what he or she had and what food there was. Then someone must have come along who didn’t follow this model and said, “I’m not going to share with you what I’ve produced. If you want something from me, I want something from you!” And so the concept of trade began. Not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but this is where the use of money must have first come in. Instead of exchanging goods; coins and then notes, signifying money, must have evolved. Until today we live in a world where money is necessary for you to live. The purpose of life seems to have become, “You are on Earth to make money!”
The problem is that certain people don’t necessarily deserve the amount of money they receive for doing a certain job. For instance, what nurses or teachers earn in a year for doing a worthwhile job is the amount of money some Premiership footballers earn in a week! There doesn’t seem to be any controls with who earns what - except for the minimum wage. Even then some exploitative bosses still won’t pay their workers the minimum wage.
Two sayings come to mind:- “Money is the root of all evil” and “The best things in life are free”. Money leads to crime, competition, lack of morals, war, etc – in fact all the ills that we have in society today. Many people see inequality as coming from some humans having too much money, whilst others don’t have enough money.
I really don’t think money is helping to create a better world. I have a vision of a world without any money at all. It’s a world where everyone sees each other as equal. There’s no stealing or lack of anything because everyone realises that we are all one and what we have belongs to everyone. I’m glad to say that I’ve noticed other people are starting to share this vision. The seeds of a world without money are starting to sprout everywhere, from the Internet where much information which was previously hidden and only accessible for money is now free and available to anyone who wants it; through to newspapers being given out free as you go to and from your place of work. Or the setting up of communities, where everyone shares what he or she has, such as the Venus Project in the USA, or Damanhur in Italy.
I recently heard that the British National Debt for October 2009 was almost 12 billion pounds! We hardly ever use the word “million” nowadays to define a large amount of money. “Billion” is now a commonplace word and even “Trillion” is starting to be used in the media. Where’s it all going to end? With many western governments bankrupt? Money not being worth anything? Just like in Pre-Nazi Germany, or in today’s Zimbabwe? “A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold”?
Maybe it’s time for us to start thinking what really matters in our lives and start by using money less and less? In fact there seems to be a movement starting, where people are going back to the old ways that were commonplace fifty to a hundred years ago, when there wasn’t half as much money in circulation as there is now. For instance, many people are starting to grow their own fruit and vegetables, either in allotments or in their own gardens; many people are starting to walk more, rather driving round in their cars; people generally are learning to live not on credit, but only on the money they have and are prepared to wait a little longer to buy that material possession that they desire so much. It may not happen in our lifetimes, but a world without money will surely come back one day.
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