Today I'm flying from Munich to Toulouse to continue teaching my Masterclass and I know it's Saturday and I don't normally post on the weekend, but this is not normal. I don't intend to make a habit of it.
Last night my wonderful hosts, Jan and Tina, took me to a perfect Bavarian eatery in the center of Munich. As we walked back to the car, we were noticing the high end brand stores that permeate every wealthy urban center in the world. Watches, women's apparel and accessories, clothing. Who needs a $100,000 watch? Who needs a $100,000 handbag?
It struck me, like it has whenever I get into these situations, that no problem in the world exists that is too expensive to fix. The worldwide obsession with luxury, with expensive living, expensive things, is truly remarkable. Enough money exists to fix soil, water, air and any other ecological malady you can imagine. It's just not used for those things; it's used to further the Conquistador mentality.
I do not believe in coercive redistribution of wealth because that has never worked anytime in history. Socialism makes lots of wealthy people--the ones who are deciding the rules for everyone else. But somehow, some way, people of wealth need to appreciate value from healing things.
Slow Money is one attempt. But it's pennies. I've said that if everyone spent like me, there would be no breakfast cereal aisle at the supermarket. I thought that was revolutionary. But what if there were no Rolex watches? Rolls Royce automobiles? Kardashians? Would we be better of if those were gone in exchange for eliminating deserts? Would that be a fair trade?
When I think about how our family started and how we still live, it's hard not to view this obsession with "stuff" as obscene. I drive a little Ford Ranger worth about $1,500. In fact, at the airport I park it for a week and leave the keys in it. That way I never have to take the keys with me and risk losing them on a trip. I've never driven a vehicle to the airport that any respectable thief would steal. Teresa's car is worth $2,000 and has 220,000 miles on it. I'm not holy, but I do think if more people lived like this, we'd be able to invest in real creation healing. That's one step beyond stewardship.
And by the way, poor people waste as much money as the wealthy. This is not a class thing; it's a human condition and awareness thing.
If you had a billion dollars to spend, where would you spend it?