Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Sordid Topic of Coin

Greetings all,

I appreciate all the words of support and sympathy you shared after last week's post.  This week I decided to tackle an issue with less emotional charge to it, money…

Yes that was sarcasm well not the part about being grateful for the kind words of sympathy, the part about money not having an emotional charge to it.  Few topics can raise such bone deep reactions as the "sordid topic of coin."  I heard that line years ago in the movie Death Becomes Her.  It always stuck with me, because let's face it we are up to our eyeballs in emotional knots whenever we bring money into a situation.  So let us skip through this minefield together.

First off money is an abstract concept.  It is a marker that can be exchanged for goods.  On the whole it was a nifty idea.  The invention of currency meant we no longer had to haul all our possessions along with us when we wished to trade.  This revolutionized trade.  I mean can you imagine the lines at the grocery store if everyone was bartering with different goods?  The other advantage was that you could trade money for any service you liked, you didn't have to waste time trading multiple items before you had merchandise that would garner you an acceptable trade.  For example, you want to buy a car and you have many fine pieces of furniture to trade, but the car dealer doesn't want furniture he wants a boat. Now you must look for a boat from someone who wants furniture or you have to trade with someone else to get the items that will get you a boat so you can trade for a car.  You see how exhausting this could be.

So for its convenience money is really a rather unique invention.  It is the universal key to material goods, a philosopher's stone.  It is no wonder that everyone is trying to get more of the stuff.  It literally is the stuff of dreams.  Yes I know it can't buy you happiness, but it can get you shelter, food, water, clothing, and any of the other necessities of life.

All well and good so what's my beef with money?  Well I do a lot of work in what is referred to as spiritual realms.  People think that money and spirit don't mix.  It is sort of the extension of the material realm and the realm of thought.  So this week a friend of mine was advertising about a workshop  she was teaching.  It was a 2 day workshop and she was charging a very reasonable rate for a 2 day class.  Someone kept pestering her on social media about why it was so expensive.  I've encountered this same question asked by people who want what I can do for them but don't want to pay for it or only pay dollar store prices.

This upsets me.  It basically says to me that you don't respect me or what I do and that it has no value.  Imagine if I came into your workplace and started bitching about your rates and how what you did wasn't all that important and that you shouldn't charge for helping me.  So I commented back to the person on social media that our rates are what they are because we have to eat as well.  My friend was pestered again about her "high" rates.  I then spelled it out to her public heckler (because that is what she was behaving like) that when we teach or offer our skills we are bringing something together that took us a long time to learn and/or put together.  My friend has been working in the realms of spirit and healing longer than I have and it appalls me when people nickel and dime her.  It's happened to me plenty of times people want the five star treatment while paying the half star rate.

In times past what I and many of my colleagues do wasn't charged for.  Here is what happened instead. We were given a place to live.  People provided us with food.  People brought us gifts like new clothes.  A spirit worker or medicine person sometimes didn't even have to hunt.  Hunting was dangerous you get hurt or killed.  So other members of a village or tribe would hunt for them instead, literally adding more risk to their own lives to provide for the local healer.  That is respect. That is honoring what a healer or spirit worker does.  So if you feel the need to complain about rates for spiritual work I have questions for you.  Have you given me shelter?  Have you stocked my refrigerator?  Have you provided my clothes and shoes?  Have you risked your life for me?  No, well then before you disrespect a healer by arguing about their rates go jump in the river….in winter.

Ah there I told you nothing gets the emotions pumping quite like the topic of money.  So let me bring this back to you.  Do you devalue yourself?  Do you give your best only to have people try bargain you down?  Do you let others shame you so that they can save a buck?  Or are you devaluing people?  Do you demand help from people but want to give nothing in return?  It is my wish that you are on neither side of this.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

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