Light Shines Through
June 20, 2013 § 7 Comments
Quick reminder: I’ll be at Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY tonight. 7 pm. Come on out!
The launch of $AVED has gone far better than I could ever have imagined, particularly given that the book has not yet captured the attention of the national media. As I wrote in the shamelessly self-promotional post that I then removed, this is in some ways ok: There are many ways for a book to find readers, particularly in this era of Interwebs connectivity, and I suspect $AVED might just be one of those word-of-mouth books that never really gets a big media boost. On the other hand, if you’re reading this Oprah, I’m game.
Of all the things that have happened over the past week that have made me feel as if this book was worth the effort, the one I’m most pleased about was an email from an instructor of the Financial Literacy program at a local high school. He’s thinking of assigning $AVED to his class and is wondering if I might come in and talk to his students when the fall semester commences. Well, hot damn: Impressionable young minds. Really, what could be better? And to think, this was the very high school I dropped out of 25-odd years ago. Life is such a strange and interesting journey, is it not?
It is amazing how frequently the subject of children and education in the context of money and economy has come up over the past couple weeks, and most often in conjunction with yet another aspect of our society’s desire to accumulate far, far more than we need: Fear. In short (and of course it is far more nuanced than this, but hey, this is a freakin’ blog post, not another book!), parental fear regarding our children’s future compels us to force them into educational arrangements that we flat-out know are not honoring their human spirit but which, we dearly hope, will prepare them for the sad realities of the 21st century economy. This is the exchange: Spirit for solvency. Passion for prosperity. But of course it is merely a conditional solvency and prosperity, hinging on institutions that will keep us solvent and prosperous only so long as we can afford for them to.
I understand why parents feel compelled to make these choices. There is little support for an alternate view. And yet, over the past week or so, having had innumerable conversations about these very issues, I see that cracks are opening in so many assumptions regarding money and all the ways it defines our relationships with the facets of our well-being. With what it means to simply be human.
And do you know what happens when cracks open? That’s right: Light shines through.