This marvelous song opens one of my favorite movies – Joe vs the Volcano. Never seen it? Very few have, tho it is the first Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie.
You see, people either love this movie or think it is the most boring in the world. An existentialist comedy shot in the 80s is after all, an oxymoron!
As a teen I loved the movie for the clever symbols that were everywhere, but no one seemed to see. How could you miss the lightning bolt that shows up again and again. I loved the funny cultural fusion of the Roman, Jewish, Celtic, Islander Natives. I loved the songs of the deep South applied to the trap of the Eastern Industry.
Not your typical 80s teen I suppose 😉
Later I loved it for the existential elements – like Meg Ryan playing every female love interest and Tom saying – First time I saw you, I felt like I'd seen you before.
It seemed obvious why Joe had sold his soul to the company store. He was afraid and traded living for security – but a security of hell.
So when he found he was dying of a ‘Brain Cloud,' he decided to take up the company on a higher price for his living. He'd trade a few weeks of luxury and high life to jump into a volcano so the company could get the minerals it needed to make more stuff.
If you want to know what happens next, watch the movie (and report back!).
What I'm pondering today is since when did Money become the only Means to get what I want?
It's not just me. It is society at large.
The song, I Sold My Soul to the Company Store, refers to a time when the railroad company (and others), built towns for their workers and paid them only in housing and company vouchers that could only be redeemed at company stores.
In a way it makes sense. The company can buy at cost to save the workers money and only workers have vouchers and can get the reduced rates. But with no currency common to the rest of the nation, there was no way to save up an leave the company. And that's without considering the corruption.
Money evolved early as a means of expedited barter. You need shoes, but do not have anything the shoemaker needs, so you have to swap until you find something the shoemaker does need to get your shoes. Very unwieldy and impractical. Money became a universal counter to expedite barter.
You provide value to the marketplace, which yields money, which you can use to get the goods and services you need.
But when Money becomes the ONLY means of barter, we have once again sold our souls to the company store.
Who do you think controls what money is worth and what it can buy? The Company!
It took me getting to almost rock bottom to get the point. and I had been bartering for over 2 years before I realized what I was doing.
In my drive to Sustainable Living, I realized that many of the exchanges I have been making have been devalued by our former MainStream.
I moved in with my parents after my divorce so I could stay home with my daughter in her formative years. I didn't move in and sit on my hands. I helped maintain the household, and as my dad became ill, I helped in the family business and became his legs.
All the while I'm thinking ‘I'm living on Charity.' Hell no! I'm living sustainably! I bartered my services for room and board and both my life, my daughter's and my parents have been richer for it.
As I have needed to expand in my online business, I found things I needed that required money for the transaction. I've been able to start making some money, but not the amount needed to scale up. So I formed partnerships, my experience partnering with their resources to work together. Now I leverage my experience and the tools for both.
I'm not saying money is not still needed.
I'm saying that when Money becomes the ONLY way to exchange goods and services, we are trapped in a non-Sustainable paradigm.
Sustainability is the Ultimate Game as we stretch to find answers to, How can My Needs be Met?, by more avenues than only money.
We are human and wonderfully expand and grow. We always want more to live more. We will always be asking this evolving question
How Can My Needs be Met?
I thought that the fun began after my basic needs were met.
Perhaps, the fun is in creatively meeting them again and again along the Journey.