Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Money Suicides

I run the risk of sounding extremely flippant by posting this, but I'm having a hard time remaining silent. It's these "money suicides" I keep hearing about, an almost weekly occurrence. They're driving me crazy.

If I could just catch these guys by the lapels before they do the final deed, I'd have a few things to say (and by guys I do mean guys, as I haven't heard any women mentioned in the news reports yet--not that they aren't just as capable, I'm sure).

"Oh you silly little boy! You thought that money mattered? You thought that this game of yours was real? You thought your red hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place mattered? My dear child, let's fold up the board, there's a good boy, put on the lid, and let's take a little walk outside. Come with me, that's right, come along.

"Here, take off your shoes. Feel the grass beneath your feet, see the robin pulling worms, the grasshopper leaping from your path. Little boy, see the clouds moving in, roiling on the horizon and promising more rain.

"Crouch down on your knees here. Yes, get dirty. Here is where a mole has burrowed just below the surface and here is the hole where the cat tried to uncover him. Take hold of this earth in your hands. Scoop it up. Feel the heat and the warm moist breath of that soil on your skin, so sensuous!

"Roll on your back now and be held by this ground beneath you. Look to the skies above you. You are immersed in creation--yes! this living breathing conscious creation. It's below you, above you, inside of you, in your breath and your bones. The universe creates itself through you--can you feel it? What a miracle!

"Think of all the magnificent ways creation could revel in its aliveness, just through you, little one! What fun. How delicious. And not just through you, but through everyone and everything else. Can you see it all around you?

"This, now this, is the truly fun game. So. Let's forget about your little tantrum back in the house. Do those plastic hotels and that silly paper money matter so much now? See, isn't this much better?"

Now, I want to be clear, I don't mean to make light of suicide--but in these situations I do feel it's an extreme form of childishness. To end your life in a tantrum about stuff--stuff! Stuff isn't real. The people left behind to pick up the pieces are real.

Our materialistic culture is a very childish culture, and I mean that in every sense of the word. As a whole, our culture hasn't evolved beyond a very childlike way of expressing itself. Here and there we have a few adults, but barely a few.

My hope is that people will see the financial crisis for what it is--an opportunity to mature beyond materialism. To become the first adults.

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