In the Season of Giving, some thoughts about taking …
By William Hicks
Call me William. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my bank account and nothing in particular to interest me, I thought I would investigate why most people on the planet have so little, while a very small number of people had caught the “Big Fish.”
My investigation brought me to books such as “Think and Grow Rich,” “The Giant Within,” and many others. While I do believe in the power of our thoughts and actions to create wealth and other benefits in our lives, there seems to be a dominant mindset in our society that values cheap labor and cheap products in order to create more profit.
We pride ourselves in getting a good deal, while somebody else loses. We say things like “God bless America” and “land of the free,” for example, but to hell with the neighbors. “They’re on their own; I got mine!”
How can we hold this selfish mindset and at the same time celebrate Christmas — a holiday based on a man who said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself?”
The scarcity mindset is the polar opposite of the generous Christ mindset, who said that we would be provided for just like the birds of the air. It’s the greedy, miserly and hoarding mentality that pushes people to form unions, strike and look to the government for solutions.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “Necessitous men are not free.”
Isn’t the age of the robber barons — the likes of which was portrayed by the Mr. Potter character in “It’s a Wonderful Life” — over?
Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters.” He even opened up a can of whoopass when the moneychangers were trading in the temple! The message: You can’t love money and love others.
So how do we break free of this mind trap of believing that we have to make it at the expense of others? The mindset that attracts cheap labor from south of the border or seeks it overseas in sweatshops?
We must have an awakening as Ebenezer Scrooge did in “A Christmas Carol.” Three ghosts gave him the opportunity to reevaluate his life in the past, present and future. How many of us take the time to reevaluate our lives, or are we too busy chasing our own big fish?”
Many people think that Scrooge was extremely wealthy but he was actually part of the shrinking middle class — a small business owner with one employee, Bob Cratchit. Yet Scrooge was able to bring a lot of joy to a whole town by loosening his purse strings just a little bit.
Along my journey of exploring this thing called money and why so few have it, I have learned many interesting things.
For one, most of us have “drunk the eggnog” by accepting that debt, usury and inflation are normal aspects of an economy. This can’t be further from the truth.
If we look at American history, we see that colonial scrip, Lincoln’s Greenbacks and Kennedy’s U.S. Notes were all debt-free currencies (based on Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 of the Constitution), which saved our country billions of dollars of debt to private bankers.
Secondly, inflation is caused when more money is created than there are goods and services, thus devaluing our currency. Politicians create money instead of raising taxes, which costs them votes. But inflation is actually a “hidden tax,” per Ed Griffin, author of “The Creature from Jekyll Island.”
Thirdly, when I say “raising taxes” I am referring to sales taxes, because American income taxes have only been around since 1914. Not coincidentally, they passed the same year as the debt-based Federal Reserve Notes.
I think that we should only be taxed when we spend and not when we earn. This idea alone could unite our country, since today it is divided over the issue of income taxes: who should pay what and how much.
“United we stand, divided we fall.”
Lastly, a lot of people are also divided over religion. They focus on their differences instead of their similarities. If all of us could accept the definition that God is love, there would be a lot less disagreement. Most religious folks, agnostics, scientists and atheists believe in love.
The “Mass for Christ” is all about love.
Whether we consider ourselves Christian, Jew, Muslim, or another label, we can all agree on loving our neighbors (and especially our enemies) as ourselves, forgiving them, and not judging them, lest we be judged.
So the big fish that I caught was this: “Seek and ye shall find,” “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (just make it a debt-free currency), and love your neighbor, even if it means a little less profit for yourself.
William Hicks lives in Mariners Village in Marina del Rey. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.