It’s All About The Money, Boys

According to the statistics provided by my blog host, this is my 500th post. A milestone! I’ve been thinking about this for a while now; wondering what I’d like to write about on my 500th. And two quotes came to me, one from the movie, “O Brother Where Art Though,” and one from the play, “Hello Dolly.”

The first quote, “It’s all about the money, boys,” came about when the Cyclops robbed our heroes of the money they’d been given by Baby Face Nelson. The second, “The difference between a little money and no money at all is enormous, and can shatter the world! And the difference between a little money and an enormous amount of money is very slight, and that can shatter the world too,” was spoken by Dolly near the end of the play.

If there is a theme in these 500 posts, it is there are ways to achieve satisfaction in life beyond the typical one of attempting to accumulate more and more money. Because, money is only an agreement between us that I’ll provide something you want or may want, in exchange for something I want or may want from you. As soon as we lose faith in that agreement, the money thing collapses.

A great example of this loss of agreement happened in Zimbabwe, Africa in mid-November, 2008, where the inflation rate peaked at 79.6 billion percent. Zimbabwe abandoned its currency in 2009, and still does not have it’s own, relying on the currency of other countries to conduct business. Now it can be argued that some pretty stupid and selfish people were in charge of Zimbabwe when their currency collapsed. But if you listen to the news as I do, I doubt you’ll hear our politicians, who are responsible for the financial solvency of our country, sounding smart and unselfish. The loss of agreement over the value of currency seems as likely to me here in the United States as it was in Zimbabwe.

The question I asked myself many decades ago was, supposing social order collapsed as a result of inevitable political ineptitude, what would I want to have in my back pocket to assist in surviving? These were the hippie back-to-the-land days, and it seemed to me that having some acreage with the ability to produce some resources to keep going through the rough patches would be at the top of the list. And, collecting both good tools and the knowledge to use and care for them is also near the top of the list. The unintended but welcome bonus from all this has been the satisfaction one gains from putting brain and muscle into a project, and enjoying the fruits of the labor.

The moral of the story? If the lifestyle I’ve been writing about appeals to you, start the process of finding a few acres where you can put down roots, figure out what you’d like to produce on your land, roll up your sleeves, and get to work. It has worked for me, and it might just work for you too.

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