Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Dock of the Bay

If you sit and watch, you begin to see a virtual swirl of existence. The cacophony of all of it tends to totally occupy our senses. What means this impingement upon our health of this strange malady called "swine flu"? When will the markets reach bottom and bring the cooling winds of economic recovery? What about energy and the lack thereof that we try to grasp and connect to the lack of economic growth and its resultant lack of jobs?

Some of the people still think in classical terms: Terms such as this is just a temporary slowing of the economy; we will be saved by technological breakthroughs that will permit a return to the past where labor and capital continue the minuet of getting, giving and using limited resources; and that only thinking despairing thoughts will prevent this return to "normalcy."

Too often we tend to misaim the power of positive thinking. Thinking positive about the future is essential to our survival and creation of the different order which will come despite protests against it. Thinking positive must be used in realistic terms, however, to realize the full value of that intellectual tool. Despite the desire to obtain great monetary wealth to which some people still direct their energies, a better practice might be to think realistically in terms of shelter, food and medical care for ourselves and our loved ones.

Instead of taking great joy in spending our life energy in climbing a corporate ladder by selling intangibles, there is an undercurrent flowing that says these activities are not better than the entrepreneur who seeks to grow food on smaller plots of land, or raise fish, chickens and another animals in a harmonious cycle where all of the activities complement each other.

Speculation, whether in real estate or stocks, is the epitome of greed and brings a veritable feast to the drive within the human animal to outcompete the rest of the herd of humankind. It also brings great pain since speculation is nothing more than the capturing of life energy of human participants through their exploitation of finite resources until there is no more energy to capture or resources to exploit. The great "ponzi" scheme then collapses. Eventually, the resources expire or the needs of the population that drive speculation begin to dwindle as population stops growing.

Sitting on the dock offers a great view of the goings and comings of humankind and beautifully illustrates the futility of speculation. The ocean and cool breezes remind us that the best things in this life are free.



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