07 February 2009

Vacuuming the Roof

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A couple of days ago, someone in our street was vacuuming the roof of their house. Perhaps it is the seemingly endless heatwave causing such crazy behaviour here in suburbia.

While our fruit ripens, we hear that apples are stewing in their skins in orchards, that vineyards have cooked, sheep are dying of heat exhaustion in their paddocks, a significant portion of the sugar crop is under water, and market gardens are shrivelling in the sun.



New forms of expression

I started my blogs last month because I was experiencing writer's block on another of my writing projects, one that had been a daily pursuit for the past eight years. Perhaps I needed a break from it.

Many of my private writings, like the one causing me difficulties at present, are about the past. Many of my more public ones are about the future. I am also seeking out the writings of others about the future. It is a difficult research project, and one that is far more challenging than looking into the past.

So many people write about the future in either a negative or shallow way, missing universal truths about human existence in the process.


A deeper sense of reality

Positive, practical solutions to problems cannot be found without at least some evidence-based, methodical plan of action. It is impossible to plan without a clear end in mind, yet what we often see in political circles is dithering and confusion and no accurate sense of direction. It makes us feel even more worried about the future.

This is, perhaps, why we have a global financial crisis. Too many people have shown that they are unable to think through the decisions they make, not only politicians but large numbers of ordinary people in the wider world, too.


Are you busy or productive?

We often mistake being busy for being productive. In my own experience, productivity requires reflection as a prerequisite. There are so many aggressive sales people who press us to make decisions quickly. They ask us to trust their judgement, or that of the celebrities they pay to entice us to believe the sales pitch. Where is the space for reflection there?

I can live quietly because, even on a modest income, I have no debts. My financial strategy has always been low-risk yet I still live in frugal comfort and save for the future. Reflection and good planning are the keys, I believe. Pots of gold do not usually exist for ordinary people, unless they win lotteries.

The angel one and I are lucky in that we have the same views about financial planning. Whenever we have gone to see financial planners, we have asked about ethical forms of investment. The planners usually say the topic has not come up in discussion with their other clients. Why is that?


Finding peace - in the world and in our finances

We can have more peace by knowing that others are prevented from taking a predatory interest in us. Anyone who is provided with an income far in excess of their true worth to society is a predator. They are also a threat to informed democracy.

How would you measure true worth? How would you define financial security?

Anyone who gives financial advice and has personal debts is perhaps not really qualified to know about financial security. Clients are taken in by promises of pots of gold at the end of rainbows, and by promises of buy now and pay later. That is not financial security, it is false hope.

Perhaps when paying now and enjoying the rewards later becomes the financial motto of humans, we will all have some peace. Otherwise we might see more and more people using vacuum cleaners on the tops of buildings.

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