We have strong tendencies to, in all things, hedge our bets. We crave stability, surety, and the (flavorless) 'Comfort of the Known'. This is evidenced in the endless proliferation of copy-and-paste, cookie-cutter residential & commercial districts taking over much of our modern cities.

Strangeness, weirdness, tackiness, 'kitsch', whimsy, etc, are presented ostensibly as distinguishing factors between what are, ultimately, near-perfect replicas of 'culture'. This is also true of many individual lives as well, due to our inner pressure to conform (quest for external validation), and choose to express one of a limited set of cultural (or 'counter-cultural') stereotypes. Beauty, individualized elegance & true human expression now stand as the only actual counterculture, amidst all this sad emptiness. We feel the sorrow & decay of this situation, and this drives us to attempt almost anything to escape this dreary condition. Many are resigned to the inevitability of what amounts to a world devoid of Soul expression & Value. I realize this is a bleak picture I'm painting, but take heart, I write with the intention of demonstrating how this is not, in fact, the final conclusion.

In order to embrace Beauty, Love, Soul & True Humanity, we must let go of our fears. 'Hedging our bets' is dividing our energies, spreading us too thin to maintain or achieve any sort of real Value. How much do we spend, collectively & individually, on all manner of insurance, on drafting ironclad contracts, on background checks & credit scores, on security & surveillance? The 'security state' consumes a vast portion of our world's resources, and while we do complain from time to time, we often lament in the same breath the 'necessity' of these expenditures. As one who dealt in that world, and profited for a time, I am wholly convinced that not only is it unnecessary, it is a great impediment to true progress towards a better world.

However, unlike those of an activistic mentality, I advocate elimination by obsolescence, not trying to fight our monsters, but rather tucking them in at night. We can demonstrate to the fearful that their fears are, at the very least, exaggerated. What will 'get rid' of these corporate, security & bureaucratic overreaches is returning ourselves to the world of personal integrity, handshakes & small businesses. This also automatically replaces Soul-less warehouse stores, generic establishments, and cubicle farms with expressions of personal creativity. In Truth, this is what we all (rightly) crave. And it is far more sustainable than this mess we have accepted. There is one (major) caveat, we must become willing to accept waiting, spending more money, and having human interactions.

In short, we must begin to appreciate Value, and we will begin to see that, while money may buy happiness (a temporary state), it does not intrinsically contain any actual (Soul) Value. It is a tool (or energy), as is time & personal effort, with which we are free to choose to invest in Value (other humans & ourselves) or to squander on items, experiences & things that will only serve to disappoint us in the long run. I agree with the principle of investing that states 'put your money to work for you', but I intend my money (more properly, my energy) to produce actual Value, not merely more cash. This approach takes Faith, Courage, and an open Heart. Like other investments, sometimes you lose you shirt investing in other people (or even yourself). But, as with financial investments, with great risk comes great opportunity.

We have become almost completely intolerant of risk in our interpersonal investments (relationships, etc), and this is why we are not generating much in the way of Value. We are, in a sense, losing Value each day to 'inflation' (entropy). When we invest in others, and it pays off, all involved increase in their shares of Value. In reality, Value does replace money in many instances, although few (largely the 'successful'... no coincidences) realize this today.

Money is an imperfect (and sometimes even inadequate) substitute for access, reputation & deeply cultivated personal relationships (not 'networking' with so many people that we end up truly knowing none of them). A large 'secret of the rich' is that who you are, does highly matter. It is not all birth & titles, as these cannot replace actual Value. True Nobility comes from within. It does not worry, coerce or hesitate, for its strength flows from an inner fountain, a limitless supply of Soul Value... The Divine Spark!