Free-fall Dream | Money | Barely Subsisting vs. Unparalleled Wealth

About a week ago I had another vivid dream. I was falling rapidly through a vertical shoot, with buildings and vegetation flying by me at an enormous rate of speed. I was however not ‘out of control’, but able to steer myself and reverse the gravity when I desired. The next morning, scanning the news on the online New York Times, I was struck when I saw this image,

"For the Love of Money" article in the New York Times by Sam Polk

“For the Love of Money” article in the New York Times by Sam Polk

This image was an astounding replication of my memory and perception of my free-fall dream. Sam Polk’s autobiographical story is about his Wall Street escapades and exodus. The irony is that both of these themes concern money. His story of someone suffering from an addiction to money, in which getting multi-million bonus’s was still never enough. My anxiety dream about not having enough money, was from someone barely scraping by. I delivered myself into my risky circumstances by moving to live abroad without having lined up a job ahead of time, which I did because of my familiarity of what I was getting into. My struggle is beginning to diminish presently, with projects springing up on the horizon.

Same topic – other end of the spectrum.

How is it that top executives and brokers are making bonus’s of multi-millions and still not satisfied, when in fact I can live quite contentedly, on a fraction of what they earn? Granted, I don’t have any dependents currently. Yet, I’ve learned to appreciate and value a different type of interaction with my reality. My happiness is less built on consuming, and more on creating. I derive appreciation from little things (the delight of the plethora of life forms surrounding us on this planet, albeit diminishing rapidly) and contentment from accomplishments built from what I have put effort into, deriving satisfaction in seeing the results. You can read about the millionaire’s discontents and discoveries in this OpEd article, “For the Love of Money“.

In light of this, a recent article in the Huffington Post by Robert Reich “Why There’s No Outcry“, mentions why Americans are too fearful to destabilize the little bit of security they have, to participate in a revolution similar to the “New Deal” or other ground-shaking reforms. I had alluded to this, suggesting what Obama could do, by putting people to work and dramatically turning around the economy. https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/notch-up-the-governments-role-with-obamaworks-a-version-of-roosevelts-wpa/

“Change is coming anyway. We cannot abide an ever-greater share of the nation’s income and wealth going to the top while median household incomes continue too drop, one out of five of our children living in dire poverty, and big money taking over our democracy.

At some point, working people, students, and the broad public will have had enough. They will reclaim our economy and our democracy. This has been the central lesson of American history.

Reform is less risky than revolution, but the longer we wait the more likely it will be the latter.”

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Nick Vujicic’s Empowerment message vs. Income Realities of Expat & DE’s Harz IV | Chomsky ‘Profit over People’

This is the second time I’ve encountered a video featuring this man’s message, an Australian motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic, who has no arms or legs, yet manages to make the most of every moment of his life. Nick_Vujicic_inspirational_speaker “We become so preoccupied with what we don’t have, that often we forget what we DO have.”

Kids responding to Nick's positive message

Kids responding to Nick’s positive message

Well, after seeing his message, being engulfed in my own sense of worth and well-being, concerned with how I’m going to make my next dollar, seems petty. Yet, after trying to screen (after putting out online ads) who is sincerely responding with legitimate offers for work and who is trying to scam me, it is rather daunting. The majority have been scams, from asking ‘how old I am’ – after listing my skills and offers for numerous types of honest work – to sending a pdf form asking for my bank account and yes, a signature to send back to them as well.

Per Nick’s video message, what is important in life is not how much money one has, or power, or beauty…but one’s attitude. Yet, I, as everyone else, am inextricably part of a matrix of what we’ve all decided is a currency, exchanging the work that we do. Living in a foreign country, in a WORLD in which ‘nationalism’ prevails, doesn’t make things easier. All the German bureaucracy ( no doubt all Western European countries & US ) put up roadblocks to offering one employment. Yet in the three months that I’ve been here, I’ve encountered a LARGE number of young, healthy capable people from 20’s through 50’s in age, who are willingly committed to the German Hartz IV program. They obtain money from the government while unemployed, ‘arbeitslosgeld/unemployement compensation’ and go through the motions (as if) they are looking for work – just enough – to keep this flow of money coming; just enough to pay rent and buy food. It turns out to be more attractive to some people (a substantial number of people), than to actually push ahead in the work force to develop their crafts. I’ve been informed that this is not at all representative of the rest of Germany, but predominantly happening in Berlin. Reflecting Berlin’s unique history as an island of capitalism existing within the clench of a Soviet dominated fist.

Besides the fact that many inhabitants of the developed world have comparatively a great deal of wealth, at the same time, many of these people have a lot of ‘issues’. Issues which lead to unhappy, unfulfilled lives, resulting in various addictions and distractions. We live in a finance, commercially driven time with a lot of brain-washing, regarding what to strive for. A world which holds up false/photoshopped images and ideals of beauty and promises from material acquisition and power. Messages which are based on false ideals, to stay on top of the game, that actually lead to pitting people against one another. Nick’s point, is to forget about feeling ‘not good enough’. There will always be people who are drop dead gorgeous, or with incredibly brilliant minds, others with fabulous wit, extreme dedication…to compare ourselves to. Yet, each of us has something to offer through our love and genuine joy of doing what we love. Our responsibility is to follow our hearts and find what it is that we love to do, and therefore do well, to offer to others.

To me, seeing all of the kids listening and receiving this man’s message, is wonderful. It reminds me that we do all genuinely feel better when we are kind and compassionate and loving, and can care for what another human being feels. And we all do feel better exchanging positive energy and prompting smiles in others. This has absolutely nothing to do with how one looks or how much money one has in their bank account. Because yes, it is each and every one of us that have the gift of life, and we forget just how precious this is. Nevertheless, I still have to make 150 euros in 2 days, because I am challenging myself to do it. I am also down to no milk, no vegetables or fruits, used up the potatoes, the oatmeal is gone, still ample onions and garlic left. Great that I drink a lot of water primarily anyway, rather than buying anything else. ‘-)) I don’t know if I just love a challenge. Or, if by genuinely following my heart and speaking what I feel, is so against the grain of the consensus of modern society, that not to accept these ideals, appears to be naive and foolish. I say consensus in the context of Noam Chomsky’s messages about ‘Neoliberalism and the Global Order’ excerpted from his book “Profit Over People”. “The “principal architects” of the neoliberal “Washington consensus” are the masters of the private economy, mainly huge corporations that control much of the international economy and have the means to dominate policy formation as well as the structuring of thought and opinion.Chomsky has been a highly influential academic figure throughout his career, and was cited within the field of Arts and Humanities more often than any other living scholar between 1980 and 1992. His work has influenced fields such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, logic, mathematics, music theory and analysis, political science, programming language theory and psychology.

This stage will pass, but it is now a bit scary

Halloween Geist

Ghost Figure for Hallowee

 

 

 

– good thing that Halloween is coming.

 

Scary halloween pumpkins

Carved Halloween pumpkins