baby shawls and wealth

A heartwarmer for my wee darling girl.  Just the thing for cool spring mornings and evenings.  The pictures of her wearing it are pre-blocking.  We were just trying it on.  The other two are from after it was blocked.  As sweet as it looked all buttoned on, the buttons kept popping back out of the holes when she moved.  I’ve since sewn some lace trim to the ends, allowing me to tie it in the back, which is far more practical and stays very nicely.

The main yarn is the same skein that I used for the flowers on her birthday sweater.  I discovered it at a sheep and wool festival when she was just a tiny bundle of a babe.  It was locally dyed using indigo and according to the dyer, a mistake!  It wasn’t the color that she meant to make at all, but it was just the color I was looking for.  This is somehow her color.  My Sweet Wild Violet.  It was just this soft shade of pale, muted, grey-mauve-lilac that I craved through my entire pregnancy.

I finished reading Saved: How I Quit Worrying About Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World.  I’ve been asked my opinion, so I will try to give it.

To my mind the book had three main themes.  The first was a portrait of a simple life, far removed from our society’s excepted norm.

That someone would live in a tiny, unfinished home, with no running water, etc, is not shocking to me, as I have done it myself-complete with bucket toilet*.  Nor am I the slightest bit surprised by the subject’s gratitude for that space.  I have never in my life been more deeply grateful for a home then I was for our “Little House”.  That’s where the original name of the blog came from; Little Home Blessings.  It’s also no great revelation that there is the potential for someone to get really burned out living that way.

The middle section is kind of an over-view of the history and workings of our current monetary system.  Which was interesting, in and of itself.  The author has a sense of humor, which I appreciate considering the potential dryness of the subject.

The final motif is a kind of call to arms, meant to inspire people to change, well, just about everything.  The honest truth about what I was thinking while I read this is that I’m tired.  I’m really, really tired.  It’s an exhaustion that’s beyond words.  I’m too tired to save the world today.  Too tired to fight everything…all of society, the status quo, everything.  Even just thinking about it makes me want to curl up in fetal position, with my hands over my head, begging everyone to leave me alone.  And at the same time there is an aching guilt that I have that privileged when so many don’t.

I agree with many of his assertions.  I try to be intentional about most decisions in life- sometimes to the point of paralysis, but that’s another topic altogether- finances included.  That said, some of the concepts he presents feel short-sighted to me.  He believes that ideally everyone would value life and friendship and community above money and that we’ll all sit around singing Kumbaya together and if someone gets hurt or is in need there will be people who happily step in to help.  While that’s a beautiful idea, looking around, I’m quite sure we’re not there yet.  To live as if we are (choosing not to have insurance or savings of any kind, borrowing other people’s possessions, living off their land, etc) puts the burden on others.  And there are many situations where that is a positive experience for everyone involved.  But if something happens in life, and it will because that’s the way life is, the burden of those who can’t remove themselves from the system is now increased.  In the end, living your beautiful, simple life without worrying about money may well mean that someone else has to worry about it all the more and have a lower quality of life as a result.  Beyond which, most of us are so deeply entrenched at this point that we can’t just step off the carousal and go skipping off into the woods…not matter how much we may want to.  So, while I agree with the premise, I’m just not sure it’s all that easy.

This is what I do know; gratitude, a deep heartfelt acknowledgment of all life’s blessings is the most profoundly life-altering practice a person can cultivate.  From gratitude comes an appreciation of what you have, which gives it value.  When you value something you are more likely to care for it.  We can only realistically care for a finite number of possessions, resulting in awareness of the commitment ownership confers and so forth.  You see where this is going?

This is what I say- find joy.  Love life, love each other, try to help where you can, be aware of others and how your choices affect them-including trees, animals, the earth, do the best you can-if you can mange to smile while doing it, all the better and try to be thankful every day for the gift of that day.  I think that Ben would agree with me that in doing so, you will find true wealth.

*As opposed the the author’s experience, our younger children were somewhat in awe of flush toilets.  Repeatedly flushing the toilet and watching the water just magically disappear was the highlight of many rental home tours, somewhat to the dismay and much to the confusion of various real estate agents.


2 thoughts on “baby shawls and wealth

  1. Becki

    I love that little shawl on your beautiful little girl. The color is just beautiful. And thanks for sharing your thoughts about the book. You wrote eloquently and sensitively.

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