Monday, December 9, 2013

“the richness of interconnectedness” (plus a giveaway!)

Red Leaves Above

Ah, hello!  I didn’t mean to disappear on you last week.  It was my final week in my second postdoc job (which I wrote about here, but things took a tragic turn—more later).  As you all know, I have a tendency to ramble, and I’d really like to get the show on the road with a giveaway that I’ve had up my sleeve for—oh, I don’t know—FOUR MONTHS.  Ridiculous.

(You’ll be glad to know that whenever the topic of this giveaway comes up, Paul lovingly mocks me.  Hey, I’m an idea person, not a “get all the things done” person.  Maybe I just need a personal assistant…who is willing to work for free…)

Here’s the deal.  Several months ago, I was inspired to give away a copy of Saved by Ben Hewitt on this blog.  I wrote to Ben, and he let me purchase a signed copy of his book, which has now been in my possession for too long.  It’s not a stretch to say that this book changed my perspective on money.  My relationship with wealth is evolving in positive ways, and I do believe it is opening the door to a more authentic way of living.  One paragraph has lingered in my memory.  Today I share it with you.

Over the past century or so, and perhaps longer, we have been taught that to rely on others is to be weak and incapable.  The notion that we should be dependent on one another is almost antithetical to contemporary American expectations of autonomy and independence.  But in truth it is that autonomy that exploits and, irony of ironies, turns us all into dependents of the very arrangements that profess to offer independence.  It exploits our resource base, because it depends on each of us owning the raw materials that enable us to shun one another.  But even more profoundly, it exploits us, because it deprives us of the opportunity to experience the richness of interconnectedness and the meaningful relationships it gives rise to.  By striving to achieve the American ideal of personal independence, we wind up not just independent, but isolated. 

Powerful stuff, no?  There is so much to say here, but I think I’ll save my thoughts for a review of the book, which Chrissy suggested I write.  For now, if you’d like to win that signed copy of Saved, leave a comment below.  Tell me anything!  I’d love to hear what’s going on with you these days.

I’ll pick a winner in one week and send the book out before I fly north for the holidays.  And if you’re inspired to buy a copy of Saved (perhaps as a gift?), you can do so and support this blog by clicking here.

Thank you and good luck!

PS  I plan to be back tomorrow with another volume of “This Week in Thoughtful Consumerism.”  Yay!


Anonymous said...

I believe that it is human nature to need one another. We are social creatures and we learn by and from each other. Although I strongly encourage independence, and stay away from anything resembling co-dependency, we need each other. Life requires human relationships, and would be horrid without them. Isolation, although seen as attractive at times, is not healthy. People need people. Autonomy is precious but doubtful that it can be achieved or sustained alone.

Chrissy (The New Me) said...

I am so interested in reading this book! Our financial situation will change drastically in the next year (hopefully for the better!) so I'd like to form a healthy relationship with money now. :)

I'm also looking forward to the full review!