Spiritual Net Worth


I've been thinking lately -- as the market crashes and people lose their homes, jobs, and some even their lives -- that each of us is endowed with a spiritual net worth that is not subject to market pressures or inflation, media distortion or popular sentiment. It is likely more valuable than anything money can buy, and retains its value in the absence of material things.

A friend of mine spoke about Bernie Madoff as a societal outgrowth, a build-up in cultural/generational pressure to pursue the profit motive that inevitably blew a gasket. And I tend to agree.

I think it's distinctly possible that a societal preference for the pursuit of financial net worth, over and above spiritual, has so overwhelmed the natural balance that the scale is now tipping violently back to the other side. And maybe it takes losing everything to fully realize our value as human beings, as naked and vulnerable now as the day we were born.

I can't stomach the "experts" in three-piece suits, now prevalent on CNN, who talk about how we need to save our 401K's and FICO scores when we really need to be saving ourselves. Seriously. We need to focus on our mental well-being, to nurture our spiritual net worth. Material things are ephemeral, fleeting, unlike our own value as human beings.

When bell hooks started writing all those books about love I was as skeptical as the next girl, but I think she was on to something. She started writing them because she felt the United States was moving away from love. She said, "The moment we choose to love, we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love, we begin to move toward freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others."

So my advice -- maybe more to myself than anyone else right now -- is to talk to each other more, to hug, and to love. They are recession-proof, and help us to preserve ourselves when all is lost.

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  1. totally agree. The day we begin to love is the day that we begin to transform ourselves...


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