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To play fair with my fellow humans in earning a living.
To stop worrying about money.
To avoid unethical or boring activities.
I have lived my life earning just enough to get by. I have
skillfully avoided making money. I find gambling or speculatively buying and selling to
earn a living odious. I dislike enslaving myself periodically performing pointless tasks
to get enough money to pay the rent and groceries. In past, I would tell myself that
suicide was the only option if I could not raise next month’s rent. I try to avoid
thinking about money or how to earn it. I take a very dim view of wealthy people. At the
same time I have a fear there won’t be enough to get through the next month. This
essay looks for better attitudes.
Whereas principle is a great and noble protection against showy and degrading vanities
and vices, poverty is worth six of it.
~ Mark Twain(1835-11-301910-04-21 age:74),
In Mark 10:25 and again
in Matthew 19:24 it says rich
people are very unlikely to make it into heaven. Yet in Matthew 6:33
it says that if you first seek the kingdom of heaven, all manner of
riches will be added unto to you. Surely they don’t mean to imply if you seek the
kingdom of heaven, you will become wealthy, but then you have to go to hell.
I Timothy 6:10 says that
the love of money is the root of evil. Presumably money itself can’t hurt you if
you don’t love it.
Luke 12:34 warns that
accumulating a treasure will cause you to love that treasure, like the Golem in Lord of
The Rings. If you simply let that treasure flow through you on the way to helping others,
perhaps you won’t necessarily become attached to it.
Luke 12:33 says to give away
all that you have. This provides you with a treasure that cannot be stolen, but that
cannot be cashed in until after death. That is all very well, but I need money for the
rent next month and a solid reassurance it will be there.
Deuteronomy 23:19 and
many other places forbid usury — accepting interest on a loan. This is an unusual
commandment to follow in the modern age, though it was strictly adhered to in the middle
ages. Only non-Christians could offer interest-bearing loans. You can meet this
restriction today with a no-interest chequing account, or a no-interest ethical savings
account. You might consider putting some money in the Grameen Bank which makes microcredit loans ($50 US) to
the poor. They start small businesses and pull themselves out of abject poverty.
Fear of poverty is one of the most destructive fears and can result in worry, doubt,
indifference, indecision, overcautiousness and procrastination. It paralyse the faculty
of reason, destroys the imagination, kills off self-reliance and leads to uncertainty
and lethargy. Think wealth and abundance.
~ Aquarian Practitioners of Light
No one seems to notice the injustice that some people in the world are
paid pennies a day where others are paid millions, for equally onerous work. There is
May no one eat a second bowl of rice until everyone has had a first.
~ Mahatma Gandhi(1869-10-021948-01-30 age:78),
Usury creates an instability. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Usury is
not right. I still hold this old-fashioned belief. I would thus not feel right about
making money by investments.
I don’t feel right pigging out living high off the hog knowing so many others
have little. I want to share my wealth.
Planetary citizens avoid driving. They avoid owning
SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles)
they only need a few weeks a year. They choose cars that do minimal damage to the
environment, e.g. are small, fuel efficient and light weight.
It bothers me to see people discarding mountains of trash and dumping all manner of
chemicals into the drains. It bothers me to see people heating huge unoccupied homes,
belching out fountains of CO₂
to do it. It bothers me to see people using a vehicle of several tons to transport a
single human. It is inefficient.
Conspicuous consumption means the more money humans make,
the more they trash the environment.
I want to live a lifestyle that is even gentler on the environment that I am now.
A Spending Plan
In chronological order of intended manifestation:
Donations to planetary charities.
A wrist mounted GPS (Global Positioning System) partly for the metaphysical reassurance of knowing
You are here
The temptation to keep giving a lover material goods. I would not be loved for
myself, but for my money.
Groupies, not necessarily in Beatle-sized hordes, both intellectual and sexual. On
the other paw, this is the big carrot. The main way an older gay man can attract a
younger lover is through wealth and prestige.
Money is like the Ring of Power that Frodo carried. Even nostalgic Frodo was not
immune to its corrupting power.
Much as now
Why this is a bad thing:
I spin my wheels doing little effective to help the planet, though it is
possible the website is more of a contribution that had I donated large sums.
Others worry they must look after me should I fail.
I am fearful and waste time worrying about money. I waste time doing tasks that
don’t contribute much to the planet just to earn the rent.
Why this is a Good Thing™:
People don’t automatically believe me just because I said it. They think
for themselves. They are not cowed in debate.
People are at ease around me.
I have lots of time to spend as I choose.
I have my privacy and peace.
I have little formal recognition but a fair bit of informal prestige.
Allow affluence to rise
Why this is a bad thing:
People might find it difficult to treat me as an equal.
I would still feel ashamed and guilty at having money.
I would have people jittering at me demanding my money and time.
I would have to talk to people on the phone.
My financial life would be more complicated.
I would have to deal with schedules.
I would have less free time.
Why this is a Good Thing™:
I could donate more to charity.
There would be more money to fund projects.
There would be money to help friends the way I said I would.
I would have to think about money, but I wouldn’t have to worry about
People would be more likely to take my ideas seriously. I would not waste so
much time documenting ideas that nobody even considers.
I would not have to consider money nearly as frequently in planning what I want
I could have material comforts and healthful food.
The actual choices are not quite so dichotomous. There is a middle path between
monk-like poverty and Gatesian excess. The middle ground may not be an uncomfortable as
the two extremes. Another direction is to find ways to get things and acquire things
cheaply or without money. As an example, Wiley offered me
worth of books on the condition I review one of them.
Though I personally might be better off with (1), the planet is better of with (2). I
feel embarrassed to discover I am still taking the selfish path. In reality, path (2) is
probably like the Monty Python torture device — the comfy chair, not nearly so
awful as I imagine it will be. I might have assistants to partially shelter me from the
things I dread — petitioners, telephones, spam, money and schedules.
Presuming I do manage to change my attitudes, I still have the practical
problem of actually generating the income. I would imagine it might come from several
Writing computer programs that are useful to many people.
Writing books that are read by many people.
Brainstorming for people who can afford to pay me handsomely.
Lecturing to large audiences.
Leading large workshops.
I think the key is understanding a distinction between:
Allowing myself to have money to spend primarily for the benefit of the
Affluence is so often associated with (1), (2), (3) and (4), that it is hard to
imagine it without them. I have cold feet. I think "Who am I kidding. I became more
wealthy, I would fall prey to its corruption just like everyone else." On the other
hand, I need to get some money soon to live on. I have to get on with this. There has to
be practical plan as well as a metaphysical one.
This whole essay sounds a bit nuts, especially if you saw how low my current bank
balance is. It is an externalisation of internal dialog, in Living Love terms, a conflict process.
Throughout most of human history, a guy who took more than his fair share was
considered an asshole. With the invention of civilisation, all changed. The guy who
took more than his fair share, especially one who conspicuously wasted it, became a
hero. The more he took, the more heroic.
~ Roedy(1948-02-04 age:69)