07/21/2014 11:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Let's Fix Stuff


Like all of you I can't ignore what's happening in our country and in our world. Except for the stock market, the financial outlook for most people is still frightening. My sons are in their twenties and the job market is challenging. Wars are ignited around the world and with a nod to the dark ages they're based tangentially on religion and tribalism. Bad guys see a chance for colonization and nobody seems to grasp democracy. Environmental disasters loom.

I've started to hoard cans of beans and fruit, and yet I live in paradise, pick oranges and lemons off a tree in my backyard, and grow vegetables year round. I have a husband who loves me and healthy, smart children. The sun feels good on my skin and I love to dance whenever I can, but the bottom line for the middle-class American has been shrinking. Yes, our money is diminished, but the good news is the wealth in America, our wealth, has not lessened.

There's a difference between wealth and money, people. Alan Watts said that forty years ago. It's the difference between actual resources, the bone and muscle and materials required to build a dam, repair a pot hole, or fix a fence... and a system of numbers invented to keep us organized. He gave an example of a home builder showing up at a project only to find the foreman and all the workmen doing nothing.

"We can't work today," the foreman explained, "cause we ran out of inches."

The builder looked around the project. There were materials: lumber, nails, tools and the manpower necessary to get the job done, but w/o inches --- an arbitrary quantifier --- no one was working.

We have worldwide resources in humanity and we just need the will to get what needs to be done done. The hell with the numbers. Let's fix stuff!

If Alan Watts' example doesn't work for you. Try Deepak Chopra over at the Huffington Post.