For the past 500 years or so, money has been in the form of paper or metal coins. Now, though, it comes in the form of a plastic card, and increasingly, as typed symbols converted into electronic codes that flicker through the air and wires, and don’t exist in any physical way whatsoever.
What gives these imaginary numbers value? For that matter, what gives gold or silver more value than, say, pinecones or glass?
So if it is simply arbitrary, made up by people, then it has no real power of its own, right?
Let’s find out. Go get a dollar bill. Really, I mean it. Dig one out of your wallet, and take a moment right now to examine it. Read it, notice how it feels, how it smells. Seems pretty inert, doesn’t it?
Now rip it in half.
I double-dog dare you.
How did it feel? Or did you chicken out? Did you just read this and imagine doing it? (Sorry, that’s a cop out. Come on, humor me. Go get a buck. Try it. I’ll wait)…..
Weird, huh? What cascade of emotions do you feel, just by reading this exercise? What went through your mind as you decided whether to really do it or not? By the way, as long as you only tore it in half, most banks will still accept a taped dollar bill, so don’t worry.
Please – feel free to post your reactions and thoughts here! Did you do it? How was it?
I hope it was worth a dollar to you just to notice your own feelings as you did or did not actually try this. Did anyone sitting nearby see you? Or did you close the door to make sure they wouldn’t? Wonder what they would say about it? Feels a little crazy, doesn’t it?
No? No big deal? Well, try it with a twenty or a fifty sometime.
Why can’t we just hold a piece of dirty paper with pictures of dead presidents on it, and rip it up without a care? We’ll examine this and more, as we continue our exploration of the power and magic of money next week.
A reminder that I am forgoing my thematic discussions on the weekends. Instead, on Saturdays and Sundays, I will offer simpler fare, coming from the voices and wisdom of others. Mondays will continue to be the Tarot Card of the Week. Thanks for continuing to check in!