Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Passion Party #504 - The Purpose of Wealth

We live in a world with a narrow view:
 A capitalistic world
where the accumulation of money is given
a spot at the top of the podium
in the Olympic Games of Life.
It is ingrained in our society
in the schools and universities that teach us
that the purpose of business is to make a profit
and the purpose of wealth is to create more wealth.
We can argue the fact,
but in daily life we see
corporations buying each other,
not to improve service but to make a larger profit
and we see the wealthy get wealthier
(as F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "The rich get richer and the poor get -- children".
The problem is that these two beliefs about
the purpose of business and wealth
remove the human element,
the people that labor in the businesses
and the person that is accumulating the wealth.
We are not machines.
Business is made up of individuals
and successful businesses are made up of people with a common drive and purpose.
Wealth does not consist solely of
the accumulation of money.
If we look at wealth as a combination of
money - health - happiness - positive human relationships
then the purpose of wealth is to create more
 money - health - happiness - positive human relationships,
not just for the individual
but for society as a whole.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Passion Party #503 - The Butter Notes

Herbie Hancock had been working with the Miles Davis Quintet for a while, and he found that he was in a rut.  Everything he played seemed formulaic and sounded the same.  Davis saw his frustration and offered some advice, "Don't play the butter notes."
"Butter notes?" thought Herbie.  "What is that? Does 'butter' mean 'fat'?  Or does it mean 'obvious'?  I had to think about it, and finally realized that if I left out the notes that most clearly define the chords it would allow the harmonies to open up to various views."
 So it is with life.  We can spend our whole life playing "the butter notes".  Or we can live in a way that expands our possibilities, opening up our future to various views and perspectives.  And the people around you will respond to the interest and exploration, taking both of you to different places.
 The openness is attractive, and inspiring.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Passion Party #502 - Disappearing Things

9 Things That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime 

1. The Post Office
2. The Cheque
3. The Newspaper
4. The Book
5. The Land Line Telephone
6. Music as more than a "content provider"
7. Television
8. The "Things" That You Own
9. Privacy
The answer:
Turn off your smart phone and send it back to Apple or Samsung. Write a letter a day to someone you care about. Subscribe to your local newspaper, and write letters to the editor when a story moves you.  BUY the book or art or music that you love, and collect the physical objects of your love.  Feel good about the artists you are supporting.
Sorry, not sure if I can (or want to) save television.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Passion Party #501 - The Meaning Of Wealth

There has been a lot of discussion lately
 about the consolidation of wealth in our world.
The news - surprise! - is that the rich are getting richer.
Based on statistics gathered by Credit Suisse, and reported by zerohedge.com
 29 million, or 0.6% of those with any actual assets under their name, own $87.4 trillion, or 39.3% of all global assets.
But what is the meaning of riches
and what is the meaning of wealth?
Is my goal to become Scrooge McDuck,
diving into my room filled with gold coins?
Is wealth the amount of money a person amasses
or is it something larger
something that cannot be measured like
Gross Domestic Product?
Does wealth stop the addict from the overdose?
Does wealth prevent death?
Has anyone ever seen a Brinks truck
in a funeral procession?
Perhaps the meaning of wealth in my life
is bigger than a monetary goal.
Perhaps, like a beam of light entering a prism
there is a rainbow of colors that make up my wealth.