Many, many people do not consider themselves investors because they live hand-to-mouth, or nearly so. It does not occur to many of us that when we purchase something, we validate everything from the vendor we encounter to methods by which raw materials were dislodged and removed from unknown and unseen places. It does not occur to us then that we reinforce get the best one you can afford, don't make the best one/alternative you can. It does not occur to us that much of what's available is arbitrary, and more connected to subsidized fantasies than human needs, summarized as to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy.
What are we thinking? Not as much as we can when we steadily reduce our criticizing, complaining, comparing, competing and contending!
Even when we have no surplus cash, we deploy our attention, time and energies. Let's be more and more thoughtful about them. Not necessarily mere consumers, we are co-creators, designers and investors in the making.
A couple of beautiful things that present a sweeter vision....
First from Rebecca Solnit's recent piece Iceberg Economies and Shadow Selves
[...]The terrible things done, often in our name and thanks in part to the complicity of our silence or ignorance, matter. They are what wells up daily in the news and attracts our attention. In estimating the true make-up of the world, however, gauging the depth and breadth of this other force is no less important. What actually sustains life is far closer to home and more essential, even if deeper in the shadows, than market forces and much more interesting than selfishness.
Most of the real work on this planet is not done for profit: it’s done at home, for each other, for affection, out of idealism, and it starts with the heroic effort to sustain each helpless human being for all those years before fending for yourself becomes feasible. Years ago, when my friends started having babies I finally began to grasp just what kind of labor goes into sustaining one baby from birth just to toddlerhood.
If you do the math, with nearly seven billion of us on Earth right now, that means seven billion years of near-constant tending only to get children upright and walking, a labor of love that adds up to more than the age of this planet. That’s not a small force, even if it is only a force of maintenance. Still, the same fierce affection and determination pushes back everywhere at the forces of destruction.[...]
And then I also want to share the remarkable Dovetail Learning initiative. There are other such programs sprouting around the world. Watch the little video at the site and see what you think about how much the world could benefit (and is benefitting) from the kinds of tools and realizations these kids hold.
Talk about investment!
The world we live in is the cumulative result of all the choices each of us makes . . . and in that sense, we have the world we have chosen. None of us has the power individually to create a world to our liking but we each have the power, as you say David, to be more thoughtful about our choices. In that line of thinking:
We participate in a single pattern of flows through the system. We "organize" ourselves for the purpose of producing these flows and it is that organization that directs the distribution of flows. In my group we consider each choice to exchange value as the choice to maintain a bridge . . . we deliver one form of value across the bridge in exchange for a different form of value delivered across the bridge to us. And it is from this individual choice to maintain a bridge (the sum of all those choices) that all of human civilization and our impact on the rest of the system derive.
We may think that we have no choice but to work where we work and buy what we buy but, as Judith points out, what we value in money is only part of the story. Money is only good to measure the relative value of those things that are scarce. It has no relevance to that which is abundant . . . like a parent's love.
We do have the power to choose to invest in the capacity to produce that which we want to be abundant. If we share how to make that investment with others we have the power to change the entire structure. I know so many people devoting their lives to having other people change their behavior. It seems to me, if we can show others a "better" way to live, we can change the entire system overnight . . . because it is based on individual choices.
All sorts of investments make trust (or is it faith?) manifest, saying, "That entity/process will obtain a yield with which I wish to be associated."
Who can expound about trust and faith, to clarify this matter?
Here's a post concerning Truth, which is probably involved in trust and/or faith.
On second look, the writer mentions trust.