Opinion Marina View: A Christmas State of Mind

Posted December 23, 2015 by The Argonaut in Columns

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 williamhicks.columnist@gmail.com.



    Wonderful, wise and thought provoking and hopefully action producing column, William. Especially this season as we celebrate and spend time with friends and family, look back at 2015 and forward to 2016, we might all look inward and around us, to see how a sense of scarcity, and “I have mine,” has us miss our impact on this beautiful planet and on others. Perhaps, rather than just saying “That’s how it is” we will dig deeper into our heart and summon our courage to give our time and resources to “How is could be” and create a more just, compassionate and green future, locally and globally this year. Thank you again, William for making us think once again. Happy Holidays everyone.

      William Hicks

      Thank you for your comment, Lina. It’s unfortunate that many people are too busy working and raising their families to think and do their own research. When they do get some free time, they are either too tired, want to relax, and/or just be entertained. I’ll keep doing my thing, but there needs to be a sea change of consciousness, values, and involvement. We’ll see how it all plays out!


    Post script on our green future…. Locally, we are blessed to live in an abundant neighborhood, especially when you consider the beauty of the Marina, with our nearby wetlands, beaches, lagoons, and the signature Coastal birds and animals that make it special.

    2015 has seen the continued deforestation and rapid development of our neighborhood, as the County continues to “sell” Marina Del Rey to the developers, padding the County coffers, and destroying the last marshland and pockets of habitat that support those birds and animals.

    While we had our attention on the holidays, many of us traveling, the County knew you wouldn’t be watching and got out their power saws and cut down a row of beautiful Coral Trees on the median at the end of Via Marina. They contend that the trees were diseased and dangerous during El Nino. Where is the County Arborists report? (Even though people were told there was an arborist report showing that the large trees along Oxford Lagoon were diseased, there was no report.) Let’s ask the County to publish the report. Full disclosure. The office to call is Gary Jones office at LA County Beaches and Harbors to insist that the County publish the Arborist Report.

    Also, what “drought resistant” trees are going to be planted? I know inside Mariners Village, Strawberry Trees (hardly a tree which actually doesn’t do well with drought conditions) were planted to replace large, mature Coral Trees.

    Looking forward to 2016…

    I’m visiting my family in Northern California where in Woodside, after stands of trees were cut down, there is now a Citizen’s Conservation Committee, which helped draft ordinances and a local plan to “promote and enhance a superior community environment, to maintain the rural character, to maintain air quality and ecologic balance….and to ensure the maximum preservation of the valuable natural features and scenic character as stated in the General Plan”.

    Perhaps in 2016, we could join with our neighbors in standing for citizen oversight over the destruction of habitat and our natural resources. To see reports BEFORE our last trees and marshlands and habitats are gone.

    To a New Year where more and more neighbors join together to protect our precious neighborhood.

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