Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The Soul of Money
I have been revisiting this book by Lynne Twist. She's been around the world as a fundraiser and activist for World Hunger and many others. She shares a story of a people that live deep in the Amazon rain forest, the Achuar people. This village of people have no culture based in money, have not used currency of any kind that exchanges hands for goods or services. Instead their culture is all inclusive in how it cares for its family and I can't get this image out of my mind. Imagine: When their child gets married both families come together and build the new couple their home. All they will need to begin their lives together is provided by their community. When a hunter brings food back from the jungle all the people gather to feast and share the food. No one is left without support and sustenance. She contrasts this way of life with the life of our modern monetary culture by sharing the experience of a designated native who lived with them in the US and learned our language and the culture of money. Our entire culture, purpose in living, and relationships as a community are based on the accumulation and value of money and consumerism. A person's value is based on their relationship and success with money. If you do not have it, have failed to earn it or succeed in the game of money, you are left to wither away, abandoned. What a contrast! I have been trying on the feeling of what it must be like to live in a community that gives freely of all of its resources with no intention or concept of keeping something for themselves when others are without. I am struck deeply by the inhumanity of our monetary culture and how it has destroyed our capacity to love and care for one another.