> Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 07:06:18 -0800 (PST)
> From: Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
>Subject: On Business and Wealth
> Since money seems here to stay at least during our lifetimes, Iit
>may be prudent for some (I realize this excludes many who do not
>have disposable income to invest) to try to support Earth-friendly
>development, wherever possible.
Yes, I agree. People who are in a position to help, who can aid the
recovery of the biosphere through right use of money, whether by
grants, microloans, support of ag-appropriate technology--these
people are to be applauded, not scorned.
I also applaud those whose lives reflect at least a symbolic
vow-of-poverty. Wealthy or poor, though, one is not necessarily more
virtuous than the other. Either way: "Grow where you are planted."
Consider the example of Nobel laureate, Wangari Matthai. She began
her lifework planting trees with penniless women, growing forests
from the bare soil up. Now she is Kenyan Minister of Agriculture and
can direct her national resources and funds toward reforestation in a
big way. She has walked both roads in one lifetime, and I'm sure she
regards herself as no better or worse a human for being once without
money, now with money.
Here on the western edge of North America, native people used a
seashell, dentalium, as a symbolic currency until they were
colonized. The shells have no particular 'use' other than
representing one's wealth--much like gold and silver, except those
metals have some other uses as well. As years advanced and people
gathered more dentalium, their society symbolically became more and
more 'rich', so much so that the shells were frequently bestowed as
gifts, not just kept to oneself, symbolic of people's generosity and
wish to enrich succeeding generations.
In Hawaii, people continue to make seed lei (necklaces) as another
example of symbolic wealth. Once the necklaces are strung, of course
the seeds can't be planted, but it is a great example of nature's
abundance (and an agricultural product) being used for symbolic
personal and societal enrichment.
Inside Passage Seeds and Native Plant Services
Forest Shomer, owner
Port Townsend, WA, USA