Last year, we had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Commito about the release of her book Love Is The New Currency. Since then, as you may know, I have given up the use of Federal Reserve Notes and sought out forms of alternative currency, Love being among the most primary and effective. Recently, Linda interviewed me for her latest book, and asked about my findings over the last four months without the use of money.
For the most part, it’s astounding to see how much more abundance life has to offer when I am no longer relegated to filter the world through such a limiting and temporal conduit. While my lifestyle does offer its fair share of challenges and requires a certain amount of flexibility, it also seems to give me many more surprising reasons to smile every day while forcing me to flex my brain muscles, think outside the box, and see possibilities that I may not be able to see if I were merely relying on money.
It’s not that I think money is bad, however, I do believe that our value system has been warped. Although our culture has been spawned in many ways by the Judeo/Christian heritage which proclaims that “the love of money is the root of all evil,” we have largely based our culture on the twisted adaptation that says “the love of money is the root of all progress.” Unfortunately, this has led to a society where the majority of our energy, both our personal energies and our physical resources, are devoted simply to the production of money in a system that necessitates unlimited growth, depleting the collective energy of the masses in exchange for the profit of a few. And although a very limited segment of our population reaps the benefits of our toil, the rest of us keep on feeding into the system in hopes that the dream of our being in that elite percentile will one day pay off.
Yet even for those who have actualized the American Dream, which seems to represent the freedom to have as much personal wealth as you want, we’re finding that all of the money in the world isn’t bringing them happiness either. As a matter of fact, financially wealthy people are often the most miserable people around. Plagued with having to tend to their possessions and always doubting whether their relationships are genuine or parasitic, being wealthy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…although, I am obviously not speaking from personal experience so feel free to test the theory yourself.
I don’t necessarily think that my giving up something that I never had much of in the first place is going to completely change the way the world operates or anything, but it does change the way that my world operates. I don’t think that the accumulation of personal wealth and directing the majority of my energy into self preservation is the most prudent use of my existence. So I’m just exploring some other possibilities that often get overlooked in this rat race culture of ours.
I can testify, however, that the most valuable resources I have found are the relationships in my life, and the most precious of those are the ones fueled by love. The value of these relationships aren’t in the ancillary benefits they bring me, such as food or shelter (though those are greatly appreciated), but in the sheer understanding that I am connected to another person and that although I am on my own journey, I am not alone in it. Yet even beyond my cultivated relationships, when I think about people that I meet for the first time or just run across every now and then, when I sow love into those relationships by offering up either an actionable service or simply an open ear or a genuine smile, what I reap is beyond compare to anything I have ever bought.
Do not underestimate the value you have to offer the world or the untapped value of the world around you.