By Joleen Halloran | January 5, 2013
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Today we live our lives primarily by what we can afford. Those that “have”, appear to get the things the rest of us want. Big houses, cars, travel, beautiful bodies, status, plenty of free time, and boatloads of spending cash. Our assumption is that the more money we have, the better our life can be because money buys us the things we want. I am a fan of money, so don’t get me wrong, but I value money for exactly what is it, a form of currency, not as a ticket to paradise.
Currency is by definition merely a form of exchange, and money is one form of currency, but actually there are many types. In fact, currency can be anything we want it to be – it all depends on what we truly value. And money – is about as valuable as we say it is. Everyone has a little different viewpoint on their how they value their money.
The difference between currency and value is that currency is intended to be exchanged, flowing, and used as a resource. Value on the other hand is something that adds meaning and significance to our lives. We all value our lives for instance, or at least we should if we want to keep waking up every morning.
We can use currency to add value to our lives, once we understand what it is we really value. For instance, if I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “There is never enough time to do the things I want to do” – well, I’d be a couple dollars wealthier. But funny thing is, most people that complain about not having time, use their time watching TV, playing games, messing around on the internet, or a million other things that have “nothing” to do with what they “want”. So, I guess you could say that they don’t value their time too much, and more, they don’t value their dreams/wishes either since they can’t make the time to pursue them. But, they believe that if they had more “money”, that they would have more time because they would not have to work and they would have loads of free time to pursue their dreams. This is like complaining that you might not get seconds when you still have a plate full of food. When really the only thing you value in either scenario is excess, privilege, or entitlement.
Taking a look at what we truly value and appropriately focusing our attention and intention on those things can also help us understand currency better too. Because really money (government issued currency) has no relationship to the value of time, or love, imagination, creativity, peace, joy, God, truth, wisdom, family, health, and on and on, and yet many people do not invest very much on any of these things.
There is no doubt that right now our nation is suffering from many issues. Everyone has their favorite crises in this country, with everything from war, government debt, government spending, taxes, jobs rates, poverty, crime, immigration, gun control, environmental, energy, health care, and again, I could go on and on. Many people think that the way to solve the problems is to throw money at them. The more aid, media, lobbyists, spokespeople, charity events they can do (that cost money) so that they can raise more money, is always the first response. Everyone wants more money to solve these issues, but fail to consider that money has been flowing into these issues for decades and the issues just continue to grow, like the money we continue to throw at them.
Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given.
Currency that is not being utilized to add “value” – is wasted, lost. Would you throw money at a crying child? Sadly, many of us do, but this does not solve the problem, only prolongs the problem. I know we have a level of practicality we must adhere to, since money is our main form of exchange for our base needs, so sometimes money is needed. But the whole process of how we use money to solve all of life problems, including our government or world issues got me to thinking — I wonder what our world would look like if kindness or compassion were our main forms of currency?
Would we be able to listen to one another a little more with this kind of currency (exchange)? Would we more value the things that are truly life affirming with kindness and compassion as our currency? Would the inability to see anyone less than kindly change our perspectives on the issues we face in the world? I wonder how giving out kindness and compassion would impact our families? If I paid for everything in my life that didn’t have to do with my base needs (food, water, shelter, livelihood), with kindness, would others be blessed by this? I wonder how spending kindness and compassion towards ourselves would add value to our lives?
I read an article the other day about someone that donated to a fund that was set up to help the families and school from the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. This person, having very little money, was able to only donate $20.00, but on this bill they wrote, “In honor of Newton shooting victims, 20 acts of random kindness.” This is what I call a powerful form of currency, especially when the need for it was due to such a severe deficit of compassion and kindness. What could be more needed than kindness……….
Until everyone is awakened enough to know that true value is anything that we give our attention to, then there will always be those that value greed, revenge, excess, separation, and disparity, and they will call it concern, progress, or equality. Because of this, we will have to use the best tools we have available to solve our problems, which may be money. But for me, I will always be asking this first – Is this something I can apply kindness and compassion to?
Since this is the first month of a new year, I invite any of you reading this post to join me in being rich in a new form of currency! Kindness and compassion! I intend to give away random and spontaneous kindness to at least one person every week this year. If I get on a roll and make this a habit, my goal is to pick up the pace to once a day! But my commitment is once a week and I will be keeping a log to record my commitments. Join me?
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