Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Going Moneyless

What do you think about moneyless living?

As you know, I love the idea of urban foraging. It's immoral that dumpster food is locked away for fear of lawsuits. I wanted to go beyond dumpster diving and freecycling, and explore this idea of moneyless living a little further. I invite you to join the conversation.

On the one hand, moneyless living is the essence of social responsibility- as it means little trash, it's the ultimate in frugality, and it requires one to really connect with back-to-basics skills. The challenge is social responsibility in context. If our context (or the way we're wired) doesn't point towards us making the leap towards absolutely no money, what then?

It seems to me Jesus was an original moneyless man, but not in a legalistic way, and not to make a statement or because he felt like money was necessarily evil. Just because money didn't have a hold on what he was doing and when, or how he related to other people. The issue wasn't tax or the poor or the system, it was our hearts and how we related to other people in the moment. Ok... I hope I didn't lose you by bringing Jesus in back there.

Sometimes it's important for me to make poverty and unfair economic systems the issue, because they provide me with a framework for relating in the moment. I don't otherwise relate in a spirit of love or generosity. But other times they're not very important, because they're so abstract in the midst of the activities of my day- wake up-go to work-pray-see people-be a parent/wife/family member/friend-eat-sleep.

So I guess my question is, how do we get away from dependence on money? I really don't have a clue. But, oh well, I'll try and muddle through: it seems to have something to do with mindset-- life is not about money--and something to do with lifestyle-- where one doesn't have more bills than money to pay them. I don't want to rely on money to give me security. And I don't want financial stresses to dictate how much I work or why I work. I want to be free from a constant striving, from complicity in destroying the earth or being involved in a system that hurts other people. For me, this ties back to Jesus, because I want to be secure in any circumstance. What do you think?

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