Money makes the world go round?

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Just before the snow comes, the roads are marked with detours. The city knows it must prepare and make necessary adjustments to the seasonal change that is about to follow. The lawns have been raked; tires on cars have been changed to winter ones; many homes have been festively decorated in anticipation of yet another celebration soon to be upon us; and our credit cards are ready for this time of gift giving.

Over arching these annual and somewhat customary practices, there hovers a looming uncertainty. Most of us are quick to point out that the concern we are experiencing stems from the current economic situation. Both on a global and therefore on a personal level we worry. After all, doesn't money make the world go round? What happens when money has no value?

My mother tells a story from her childhood in Hungary when the currency was so devalued that they had to take baskets full of bills to buy a loaf of bread. But then she quickly points out: "Well, we didn't really need it for bread because we made our own." It is a simple story, yet a truly revealing one.

I am grateful indeed not to have experienced the dark days of 'The Depression'. From the time I can remember, I have come to accept a relatively secure monetary way of life. Even in this challenging economic climate here in the western world, we continue to expect that it will all adjust for the better. But what if it does not adjust?

It only makes sense to prepare. What we have to adjust is our attitude towards money and our attitude towards life itself. Kahlil Girbran said it best: "Your living is determined not so much by what life bring to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens."

We are in a period of serious transition. We have little alternative but to review our current personal life circumstance and assess where we plan to be in the future. Where do our values lie and where will they take us? Will we become part of the masses and buy the most current, most costly technological gizmo for the instant gratification of our young; or will we instead learn to make bread to feed ourselves and our neighbours?

Geographic location: Hungary

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