28 February 2013

Lent: Money


I use money like my 6th sense. I make good use of my 5 senses when I have it. I work to earn it; work and labor are linked with money. Money’s a motivator for me. I work for it, yes, but an end in itself to acquire and hold, no. I work so I can care for my loved ones and myself. I work to feel I’m contributing to something greater than myself. I believe hoarding money for its own sake is immoral. I’m no slave to it; I’ve walked away from it.
I’m blessed with abundance. I was born into a birth family with an abundance of resources especially new financial resources. I never felt a want of educational, medical, dental, or material abundance. I was taught social cues. I was educated to discern new social cues. I was taught to travel and felt I could travel anywhere. I’ve never been accustomed to sustained deprivation or impoverishment. As a result the abundance I’ve been accustomed to is interwoven with my perceptions and attitudes.
I used to take money for granted; I learned complacency. Later on I had to work hard to have a little money and learn to live with a little. When I was earning the most money I spent it on care and nurture of my family and stuff, just stuff for what I thought was a bit of happiness.
I’m keenly aware of money’s presence and the knowledge of what it could mean to be without it. I’m afraid my means of production for earning money has shifted beyond what I can shape. I sense the economic skill set I’ve been accustomed to has shifted to a new skill set I’m ignorant of and unaccustomed to. It demands smaller hands and fingers than the good Lord has blessed me with. I’m afraid technology has morphed away from manual labor into air-conditioned centralized computer concentration campuses staffed with programming analysts, quantitative analysts and systems analysts who write plusses and minuses and technical service personnel who tend hardware.
Just beyond our little monetary perimeter I see outward and visible signs of inward and invisible injustices wrought by changes in the means for producing income. The many who are not getting by in the manner to which they had been accustomed, or educated to believe in, are growing. So when we spend for a new roof or a heating and air system for our 70-year-old house, or new repairs on our 20-year-old car, or give away cash to our sacred spiritual space or a 1-week visit to a beach, I feel thanksgiving and some helpless inevitability and grieving.
I’m afraid, and if I couldn't feel my 5 senses with the 6th sense I’d feel impoverished too.

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