We are Not A Loan

A debt jubilee…Did you know that there is an organization that is seeking donations to buy-up distressed  debts, including student loans and outstanding medical bills, and then wipe the slate clean by writing them off. It is called the Rolling Jubilee. Watch the video; it gave me goosebumps. Goosebumps of recognition. Goosebumps of excitement. Imagine a world free of debt.

David Rees, one of the organisers behind the project, writes on his blog: “This is a simple, powerful way to help folks in need – to free them from heavy debt loads so they can focus on being productive, happy and healthy.

“Now, after many consultations with attorneys, the IRS, and our moles in the debt-brokerage world, we are ready to take the Rolling Jubilee program live and nationwide, buying debt in communities that have been struggling during the recession.”

A video released to promote the project says: “We shouldn’t be forced into debt to cover basic needs like healthcare, housing and education. We need a jubilee, a clean slate. The math is on our side; a little bit of money goes a long way. If we can raise $50,000 we can buy a million dollars worth of debt and abolish it.

“We bailed-out the banks and in return they turned their backs on us. We don’t owe them anything, we owe each other everything. It’s time for a bail-out of the people, by the people.”

Many thanks to http://www.the2012scenario.com and Matthew Sparks of The Telegraph

The New Economy Movement

Since, I’ve started to feel into the meaning of money and dreaming of different way of relating to money, I’ve been led to some very informative and inspiring articles. Here’s one I found today on The 2012 Scenario.

Activists, theorists, organizations and ordinary citizens are rebuilding the American political-economic system from the ground up

by Gar Alperovitz, Alternet, May 22, 2012

Just beneath the surface of traditional media attention, something vital has been gathering force and is about to explode into public consciousness. The “New Economy Movement” is a far-ranging coming together of organizations, projects, activists, theorists and ordinary citizens committed to rebuilding the American political-economic system from the ground up.

The broad goal is democratized ownership of the economy for the “99 percent” in an ecologically sustainable and participatory community-building fashion. The name of the game is practical work in the here and now—and a hands-on process that is also informed by big picture theory and in-depth knowledge.

Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/22-2

Questions of Money and Sacred Economics

Rainer Maria Rilke – Live the Questions Now

…I would like to beg you … to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Where to start? That is what I’ve been asking myself this past few weeks as I have been deepening my exploration of my relationship with money. I am so, so tired of scarcity thinking and feeling. I have an abundance of community, connection and creativity. How can it get any better than this? By having a more compassionate, loving, creative, abundant, even beautiful realtionship with money. By loosening the tangles and knots I have around money. Money feels like a relationship I just don’t get. I don’t get how a person has to “earn a living”. What is that about? Or the “cost of living”. Is that crazy or what. To think that as amazing beings of light we need to earn a living? Who thought that up?

For the next while, however long my soul calls me to delve into the subject, I will be exploring and living the question of money on this blog. Questions such as:

What else is possible? (For exampleRather than a money tangle, can I have a money river?)

How can I create a more loving, abundant, generative relationship with money?

If I see all the world as sacred, how can I create a sacred relationship with money?

How can I see money as something beautiful and amazing?

My guide for this journey is the book Sacred Economics, Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein. The book is organized in three sections:

  • The Economics of Separation
  • The Economics of Reunion
  • Living the New Economy

I recognized right away that the (increasing) tension I feel around money is that while I am practicing living in a world shaped by unity consciousness, cooperation,  connection, compassion and creativity our entire economic system is designed to foster competition and separation. No wonder I am in such a tangled knot. No wonder I just don’t “get” money at a heart level.

Come, join me on this journey of discover, of imagining a new economy, imaging a joyful relationship with money, of imagining a world where there is more than enough for everyone. It is spring, come, plant the seeds of a new reality and water those seeds with questions.

Interest Free Debt? Why not.

I’ve been exploring my beliefs about money, abundance and scarcity. Money, and the lack of it, triggers a great deal of anxiety in me. I’ve got good idea of the core beliefs I have about money…I can either have my health, friendships, community, or I can have work and have money, there is only so much to go around, money can separate me from other people, etc.

Now, I’ve started exploring the cultural and collective institutions that have contributed to my experience and beliefs. And one of them is how the government spends money, takes on debt, etc. The main messages I am getting from our governments are that there is only so much to go around, that cuts are needed to ensure future prosperity. Yet, I am bothered by that.My reality is that there is plenty to go around, we can live in a both/and world.  So, I started poking around and found this video. It is  the most succinct description of the collusion between banks and governments to keep us in a scarcity mind set. Twelve-year-old Victoria Grant (Cambridge, Ontario), gave this lecture at a recent Public Banking Institute conference in Philadelphia.

I have learnt that prior to 1974, all three levels of government could borrow money from the Bank of Canada at zero interest. The government could use the  interest free loans  “human capital” expenditures (education health, other social services) and / or infrastructure expenditures.  (For more details http://actionparty.ca/news/monetary-reform/canada-debt-free-is-it-possible-/)

Interest charges on Canada’s public debt – money borrowed by the federal government over the years and not yet repaid – cost $30.9 billion. That’s about 11 cents of every tax dollar spent. (Source Department of Finance Canada 2011). More of our federal income is spent on the debt than on health transfers to the province. How crazy is that?

A huge change can be make to the Canadian financial landscape without a wholesale change of legislation and regulation. How cool is that?

The Pain of Power or The Power of Feelings

It gives me great hope to see an article on the power of feeling your feelings in  the Harvard Business Review. Clearly, leaders are human beings and human beings cope with feelings in different ways. Much of the suffering the the world is because we have never found a way to make peace with old hurts and wounds.

Peter Bregman, May 07, 2012 writes Most leadership trainings are about ideas, techniques, theories, and methodologies. But the workshop I took this week was designed for the heart, not the head. It was about feeling deeply the emotions we spend our lives avoiding, like the pain of failure and loss.

This act of diving deeply into the feelings we avoid, the feelings we don’t necessarily even know we have, is, I have come to believe, our only hope of breaking our link in the chain of hurt, suffering, and ineffectiveness.

That’s a leadership issue. Because every leader is a human being. And when we avoid feeling the suffering we naturally experience as human beings, we perpetuate it and act against our best interests in our relationships with our colleagues and the people we manage, as well as with our families.” Read more: http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?sid=229

The Fairytale of Braunschweig: An Anonymous Donor and Envelopes Stuffed with Cash – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International

What would you think and feel if you found 10,000 euros ($13,000) in your postbox? Well, a number of nonprofits and charities in Braunschweig, Germany are having that experience.

The Fairytale of Braunschweig: An Anonymous Donor and Envelopes Stuffed with Cash – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to see these generous acts spread around the world? Gifting money with no expectation of return – it certainly is mindbending compare to the onslaught of financial advise at this time of year (RRSP season and all, here in Canada)

to maximize your return on your money/investments.

Yet, perhaps anticipating the surprise and joy that the people receiving the envelopes of cash are likely to experience (at least I would) would be the best return on investment there is.