No U-turn allowed

no-U-turnThis blog is analyzing the origins of specific points of which I am walking the consequences right now in my day to day life. A U-turn to go back in time to correct or change my decisions is no option, so I will have to investigate specific moments in my past to be able to understand and correct myself here and now. Only so I will be able to stop ever returning patterns.

Today a new fact popped up that is adding to the list of consequences that have manifested since we as a family are back in society so to say. Already for a certain time I am seeing that since we moved to Italy, or maybe better, since we decided to move to Italy we started to plant a series of ‘things’ (I can’t figure out right now what should be a proper name) that grew over the years and which we are harvesting now, without having kept track of everything we have planted. I speak in we to indicate me and my partner as we are partners in crime in this, both having thought/created and accepted and allowed.

If I look back at the motivations we had for wanting to move to Italy I see now clearly it was a wish to escape. But to escape from what? Over the years, starting somewhere in my youth, I developed a view of the world that at first was very naive since I was raised in a family that had enough wealth to live a comfortable life. Later in life I experienced more and more how the real world was working. Where at first I was frustrated by the fact I was not able to grasp how things worked because they did not seem to work as I imagined, I slowly started to see that a lot of things were fucked up and started slowly but surely to distantiate myself from the ‘real’ world, at least I tried to do so. I was not willing to accept the world I was living in and started to make plans to escape the sick society in order to create my own micro world somewhere far away from everything.

If I look back at the period that preceded our ‘escape’ to a life on the edge of society I see a series of things that have not been managed properly. Most of these things are money related, and since life is money that shouldn’t be too surprising. There are several factors playing a role here. I will try to find a beginning here in my relation to money working backwards in time.

– Still paying the consequences of the loans I had to take a few years ago

– Issues with bank accounts that have not been properly closed down resulting in bank not willing to give us a mortgage for a new house

– No income due to work opportunities that dried up and forcing me to stop being self employed and to look for a new job

– Forced to get a loan to be able to pay my taxes

– Sold our house for less money than expected

– No money from the fine the first buyer of our house had to pay after he signed but could not pay for the house

– Extra expenses for lawyers and cleaning after a non successful sale and rent of our house

– Irregular income as self-employed consultant leading to a not so clear picture of what my financial situation was

– Lost job after not having a contract renewed due to lack of money within that company

Changed job because I was looking for new challenges (From HP to a small company)

– Changed job because I felt I was doing work below my capabilities (From Ikea to HP)

So, where did it go wrong? Maybe my motivations or starting points. Why did I decide to swap job? When I decided to leave Ikea I did not have a new job. I decided to dive into a multi level marketing business where I was supposed to sell water filters. It did take a few months and some money to understand that this was not something for me. I was not a sales person and I was not prepared to sell to my friends and family trying to convince them to get into the business too. It was in the period right after this that I met my partner. In the first months of our relationship I settled and managed to get a job at HP.

Looking back the only motivation to leave a secure job was the fact I wanted a more challenging job and did not see any opportunities. Looking deeper, and this is a pattern that will come back more often, I see that I was looking for inspiration in order to do my day to day job. In other words, based on the feeling that my job was no fun anymore and did not give me the challenges I was looking for I decided to look for something else. The fact I looked for another job is not the point here, it is the motivation that lead to the fact of leaving my job. I have not been honest with myself (and to others) about this point and the fact I left one job without having another one. Why did I lie to myself? What was so important to achieve that I decided to lie and be blind for the real facts? Was it the hope to get rich? Was it the urge to get out of a boring day to day routine? Was it the idea to be free and do whatever I liked?

At last I managed to get back to earth and stopped participating in this idea of making money with a promising story overlooking all kind of important points. And finally I popped back into my place in the matrix and started working for a new employer. Not surprisingly this whole pattern popped up again. It took a little bit more than the previous time since I was settling more and more in the matrix of life, I got married, had children and all this was ok with a day to day routine of gong to the office doing slave work, every day again the same thing.

Also here I started to feel the burden of this much too static working environment. As soon as I saw the opportunity to leave for a more challenging job I left. I choose for a small company that was still tied (read entangled) to the corporate I was working for before. The only thing I did not foresee was that the crisis already started in these years (2002) and that Corporate HP was already taking measures. This trend of reducing costs, canceling training programs (I was working as a trainer) led to the fact that a couple of years later I ran out of business (by that time I was self-employed). I could have seen that, but I was blinded by the pictures of living in a remote area in the countryside somewhere in Italy.

And here I am touching another point. Italy! Ever since I finished school and moved from Italy, where I lived most of my youth, to the Netherlands I wanted to go back to Italy. The first year in my supposed country of origin had been a hell, at least that was the way I experienced it. I had a hard time in fitting in into the Dutch society. Not because people did not allow me, I was not allowing myself to fit in. I cherished the idea of being special, I was different, the ‘Italian’ and so giving myself a identity, something I apparently thought not to have.

I carried this identity with me for a long time, actually for the whole period I was living in the Netherlands, 22 years long. When I moved to Italy in 2006 with my family I had the idea I was back in my mother country. I son discovered a lot had changed in all these years. I also discovered that it was not the same life I had back then. I had to make my own money and that was quite difficult since plan A was to work as a trainer for HP in Italy, I only overlooked the fact that due to cost reduction HP canceled more and more trainings until almost nothing. Not willing to leave the Italian Dream and see that I chose the wrong horse to bet on I adapted and managed to get part time jobs. Together with other small projects I managed to earn a modest living, but not for long.

A factor that plays an important role in my motivation to go ‘back’ to Italy, besides the idea of leaving a rotten society to live on my own in a self (almost) supporting house with veggie garden, wood for the stove and so on, was the fact I could maintain my feeling special character. For 22 years I had been the Italian guy in the Netherlands, now I was the Dutch guy in Italy! That was feeding my specialty character with a lot of energy. I topped living this character when I was getting in more and more trouble and needed to change the situation I was living in since it was not acceptable anymore.

Having been confronted with the situation of having barely to no money to live I experienced a kind of resetting of myself. When we decided I had to go to the Netherlands to look for a job I kind of started as a new born child. This was the first time I actually did live in a country with no mask on of a special character. If ever I am recalling the old times in Italy is when talking to a colleague and old classmate of mine about the good old times (lol).

Having said this I can do a step further back. The being special character started somewhere of course. It might have started at the age of 5 when, while living in Italy as a very bond child among all other children with dark hair, I was seen as special. When strolling in the city with my mother and brother we had regularly people stopping to have a look at the blonde twins and had to touch that curious fair colored hair. My mother recalls that she had to wash our hair after each visit to the city.

Although the first years on the primary school seemed quite normal and being fully integrated into the community there were still a couple of ‘anomalies’. First the fact I am a twin and that my brother and I sat in the same class for the first three years until my parents decided it was better to split us (after having changed school from a small village school to a larger suburb school).

Later we moved as a family to another place and I and my brother were together again at the European School together with Dutch classmates on a school with lots of different nationalities. A nice feeding ground for feeling special. So, having looked back this way I see that during most of my life I have been living in my special character. Not to mention I have been always proud of the fact I never smoked of felt attracted to trends without seeing I was living a character myself with the real me hiding behind this mask.

The following self forgiveness sentences are focussing on the ‘being special’ character.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to feel special because of having a different background compared to the people I was living/dealing with.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself not to see that all those years I allowed myself to hide behind a mask of feeling special instead of not trusting that my true self was good ‘enough’ to stand in my day to day life.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to believe that I needed to be seen as special in order to achieve something in live/work.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to feel proud when people recognized the fact I was special by acknowledging I was as an Italian with wooden shoes (typical Dutch) using the best of both cultures.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to abuse the fact of not being a real Italian or Dutch person using this point as an excuse for (not) having to do specific things, thus not willing to take full responsibility for my role within society.

I commit myself to stop participating in the feeling special character as I see it is leading to deception and a false impression of comfort and safety within a non existing identity instead of just being myself in Self Honesty all the time, breath by breath.

The following self forgiveness sentences are about the fact I did not want to see the situation I maneuvered myself and my family in by moving to Italy.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to have ignored all kind of signals while pursuing my dream without realizing that my goal was not real but just an idea in my mind.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to not having taken full responsibility for the consequences of my choices related to my desire to go back to Italy and the desire to live on the edge of society.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to have delayed the decision of making a change in my life until I really had to deal with the harsh consequences instead of having seen and accepted I needed to change the way I was making a living in order to avoid nasty consequences for myself and my family.

I commit myself to stop in participating in pursuing a dream and to take full responsibility for everything I do in every moment, breath after breath.

Today a new fact popped up that is adding to the list of consequences that have manifested since we as a family are back in society so to say. Already for a certain time I am seeing that since we moved to Italy, or maybe better, since we decided to move to Italy we started to plant a series of ‘things’ (I can’t figure out right now what should be a proper name) that grew over the years and which we are harvesting now, without having kept track of everything we have planted. I speak in we to indicate me and my partner as we are partners in crime in this, both having thought/created and accepted and allowed.

If I look back at the motivations we had for wanting to move to Italy I see now clearly it was a wish to escape. But to escape from what? Over the years, starting somewhere in my youth, I developed a view of the world that at first was very naive since I was raised in a family that had enough wealth to live a comfortable life. Later in life I experienced more and more how the real world was working. Where at first I was frustrated by the fact I was not able to grasp how things worked because they did not seem to work as I imagined, I slowly started to see that a lot of things were fucked up and started slowly but surely to distantiate myself from the ‘real’ world, at least I tried to do so. I was not willing to accept the world I was living in and started to make plans to escape the sick society in order to create my own micro world somewhere far away from everything.

If I look back at the period that preceded our ‘escape’ to a life on the edge of society I see a series of things that have not been managed properly. Most of these things are money related, and since life is money that shouldn’t be too surprising. There are several factors playing a role here. I will try to find a beginning here in my relation to money working backwards in time.

– Still paying the consequences of the loans I had to take a few years ago
– Issues with bank accounts that have not been properly closed down resulting in bank not willing to give us a mortgage for a new house
– No income due to work opportunities that dried up and forcing me to stop being self employed and to look for a new job
– Forced to get a loan to be able to pay my taxes
– Sold our house for less money than expected
– No money from the fine the first buyer of our house had to pay after he signed but could not pay for the house
– Extra expenses for lawyers and cleaning after a non successful sale and rent of our house
– Irregular income as self-employed consultant leading to a not so clear picture of what my financial situation was
– Lost job after not having a contract renewed due to lack of money within that company
– Changed job because I was looking for new challenges (From HP to a small company)
– Changed job because I felt I was doing work below my capabilities (From Ikea to HP)

So, where did it go wrong? Maybe my motivations or starting points. Why did I decide to swap job? When I decided to leave Ikea I did not have a new job. I decided to dive into a multi level marketing business where I was supposed to sell water filters. It did take a few months and some money to understand that this was not something for me. I was not a sales person and I was not prepared to sell to my friends and family trying to convince them to get into the business too. It was in the period right after this that I met my partner. In the first months of our relationship I settled and managed to get a job at HP.

Looking back the only motivation to leave a secure job was the fact I wanted a more challenging job and did not see any opportunities. Looking deeper, and this is a pattern that will come back more often, I see that I was looking for inspiration in order to do my day to day job. In other words, based on the feeling that my job was no fun anymore and did not give me the challenges I was looking for I decided to look for something else. The fact I looked for another job is not the point here, it is the motivation that lead to the fact of leaving my job. I have not been honest with myself (and to others) about this point and the fact I left one job without having another one. Why did I lie to myself? What was so important to achieve that I decided to lie and be blind for the real facts? Was it the hope to get rich? Was it the urge to get out of a boring day to day routine? Was it the idea to be free and do whatever I liked?

At last I managed to get back to earth and stopped participating in this idea of making money with a promising story overlooking all kind of important points. And finally I popped back into my place in the matrix and started working for a new employer. Not surprisingly this whole pattern popped up again. It took a little bit more than the previous time since I was settling more and more in the matrix of life, I got married, had children and all this was ok with a day to day routine of gong to the office doing slave work, every day again the same thing.

Also here I started to feel the burden of this much too static working environment. As soon as I saw the opportunity to leave for a more challenging job I left. I choose for a small company that was still tied (read entangled) to the corporate I was working for before. The only thing I did not foresee was that the crisis already started in these years (2002) and that Corporate HP was already taking measures. This trend of reducing costs, canceling training programs (I was working as a trainer) led to the fact that a couple of years later I ran out of business (by that time I was self-employed). I could have seen that, but I was blinded by the pictures of living in a remote area in the countryside somewhere in Italy.

And here I am touching another point. Italy! Ever since I finished school and moved from Italy, where I lived most of my youth, to the Netherlands I wanted to go back to Italy. The first year in my supposed country of origin had been a hell, at least that was the way I experienced it. I had a hard time in fitting in into the Dutch society. Not because people did not allow me, I was not allowing myself to fit in. I cherished the idea of being special, I was different, the ‘Italian’ and so giving myself a identity, something I apparently thought not to have.

I carried this identity with me for a long time, actually for the whole period I was living in the Netherlands, 22 years long. When I moved to Italy in 2006 with my family I had the idea I was back in my mother country. I son discovered a lot had changed in all these years. I also discovered that it was not the same life I had back then. I had to make my own money and that was quite difficult since plan A was to work as a trainer for HP in Italy, I only overlooked the fact that due to cost reduction HP canceled more and more trainings until almost nothing. Not willing to leave the Italian Dream and see that I chose the wrong horse to bet on I adapted and managed to get part time jobs. Together with other small projects I managed to earn a modest living, but not for long.

A factor that plays an important role in my motivation to go ‘back’ to Italy, besides the idea of leaving a rotten society to live on my own in a self (almost) supporting house with veggie garden, wood for the stove and so on, was the fact I could maintain my feeling special character. For 22 years I had been the Italian guy in the Netherlands, now I was the Dutch guy in Italy! That was feeding my specialty character with a lot of energy. I topped living this character when I was getting in more and more trouble and needed to change the situation I was living in since it was not acceptable anymore.

Having been confronted with the situation of having barely to no money to live I experienced a kind of resetting of myself. When we decided I had to go to the Netherlands to look for a job I kind of started as a new born child. This was the first time I actually did live in a country with no mask on of a special character. If ever I am recalling the old times in Italy is when talking to a colleague and old classmate of mine about the good old times (lol).

Having said this I can do a step further back. The being special character started somewhere of course. It might have started at the age of 5 when, while living in Italy as a very bond child among all other children with dark hair, I was seen as special. When strolling in the city with my mother and brother we had regularly people stopping to have a look at the blonde twins and had to touch that curious fair colored hair. My mother recalls that she had to wash our hair after each visit to the city.

Although the first years on the primary school seemed quite normal and being fully integrated into the community there were still a couple of ‘anomalies’. First the fact I am a twin and that my brother and I sat in the same class for the first three years until my parents decided it was better to split us (after having changed school from a small village school to a larger suburb school).

Later we moved as a family to another place and I and my brother were together again at the European School together with Dutch classmates on a school with lots of different nationalities. A nice feeding ground for feeling special. So, having looked back this way I see that during most of my life I have been living in my special character. Not to mention I have been always proud of the fact I never smoked of felt attracted to trends without seeing I was living a character myself with the real me hiding behind this mask.

The following self forgiveness sentences are focussing on the ‘being special’ character.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to feel special because of having a different background compared to the people I was living/dealing with.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself not to see that all those years I allowed myself to hide behind a mask of feeling special instead of not trusting that my true self was good ‘enough’ to stand in my day to day life.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to believe that I needed to be seen as special in order to achieve something in live/work.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to feel proud when people recognized the fact I was special by acknowledging I was as an Italian with wooden shoes (typical Dutch) using the best of both cultures.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to abuse the fact of not being a real Italian or Dutch person using this point as an excuse for (not) having to do specific things, thus not willing to take full responsibility for my role within society.

I commit myself to stop participating in the feeling special character as I see it is leading to deception and a false impression of comfort and safety within a non existing identity instead of just being myself in Self Honesty all the time, breath by breath.

The following self forgiveness sentences are about the fact I did not want to see the situation I maneuvered myself and my family in by moving to Italy.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to have ignored all kind of signals while pursuing my dream without realizing that my goal was not real but just an idea in my mind.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to not having taken full responsibility for the consequences of my choices related to my desire to go back to Italy and the desire to live on the edge of society.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to have delayed the decision of making a change in my life until I really had to deal with the harsh consequences instead of having seen and accepted I needed to change the way I was making a living in order to avoid nasty consequences for myself and my family.

I commit myself to stop in participating in pursuing a dream and to take full responsibility for everything I do in every moment, breath after breath.

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Shocking discoveries

Yesterday was a very beautiful day and I decided to make a bicycle trip from my brothers house in Amsterdam to my parents in law in Zeewolde. And back of course. It was a considerable distance, 55 km one way! I started at 9:00 in the morning and an hour later I was already in the picturesque town of  Muiden. I had a nice breeze pushing me and making the ride very nice. The sun was shining and I even took my jacket off since it was becoming too hot. One hour later I had crossed the town of Almere Haven and from that point on I had to follow the dike until I reached my destination. Very nice, water on one side with the sunlight reflecting in it and endless fields on the other side and a nice push from the wind in my back.

On the other had I realized what this wind in my back meant for the trip back… A lot of kilometers against the wind. After three hours I had again a short break and started to feel my legs and butt. The last half hour was tougher than the three hours before and I knew why! Not only physical strain but also my mind telling me I was almost there! I did some sf on that of course.

I ate a nice and healthy lunch at my parents in law and prepared myself for the trip back to Amsterdam. Since I knew the wind could be a problem on the long run I considered to eventually shorten my ride a bit by aiming at Almere and taking the train for the last 30 km.

It was very fascinating to see how the mind is working in situations of physical strain. It can be tempting to go in the mind by starting to have thoughts about anything so you do not have to be conscious all the time here and now facing the reality in which your physical body is undergoing physical stress. So I checked this point constantly to make sure I was not going in the mind. I saw myself projected in the future and saying to myself that in a short while I will be at my destination, something of any help to the actual situation I was living: move the pedals of the bicycle in a seemingly endless movement.

So, instead of giving the mind the opportunity to fuck me I started observing the scenario I was crossing. I started to see there was a lot to see indeed, even when just looking a few meters ahead while pushing hard against the wind. While riding on small secondary roads across farmers land I saw onions and potatoes that apparently dropped from a trailer. But most of all I saw an endless amount of plastic bottles, cans, plastic bags and other waste. I saw the waste along the side of the highway and that I could understand since it is commonly known that really anything is thrown from a car’s window. At least this rubbish is cleaned regularly. But where did all this rubbish along this small road come from I asked myself? Since it was mostly bottles and cans I guessed it was left there by the people working on the fields. Apparently they forgot that nobody is going to clean this on a regular base.

All this was quite shocking to me. Until now I had the opinion that a country like Italy was filthy with litter and rubbish to be found anywhere in nature. I never considered a country like The Netherlands could have the same issue. It has been a little different. Not so much the amount of people just throwing stuff anywhere but less cleaning is taking place here. The typical Dutch model of a welfare state that takes care of everything is fading since it is most probably unsustainable. I had to get rid of this opinion about the difference between the two countries.

While observing the road and the landscape I progressed slowly to my destination that seen the circumstances being a strong wind and painful legs that tended to go into a cramp if I pushed a little more was set to Almere so I could do the last bit by train. I continued to be challenged by the mind that was projecting myself at my brother’s place taking a nice hot shower and having a nice warm meal. At the same time I found out it was getting colder. Even in the train later I had the next challenge. Although I was sitting and relaxing I kept seeing myself having a shower and a meal until I started wondering if I had put the keys back in my bag after I used them at my parents in law’s house. Without these keys I was locked outside and would have to return to pick them up. A quick check in my bag was enough to see this was another mind fuck.

I monitored carefully the state of my body and did not push myself over the limit. Even though I still had enough strength in my legs to do another 30 km I had to consider the cramps and unnecessary muscle strain I would have regretted the next day. The result is that one day later I have no muscle pain and no extra fatigue even though I made a trip of 80 km in total. And my butt? No saddle pain either.

No more computer warranties

Ever wondered why there are new models of computers coming out every few weeks? Yes, of course, it is a normal process connected to technical evolution that allows the computer builders to release a better and faster computer every time technology has evolved a little further. If you strongly believe this is how it works I suggest you reconsider your point of view.

If we have a closer look at how this whole process of new models is working we might have some questions. First we should ask ourselves why computers last less than ten or even twenty years ago. It became more and more a mass product with prices that were getting lower and lower so more people could afford one. In a consumeristic model this means that the producer of computers can manufacture higher quantities for lower prices. If on these large amount of computers the manufacturing company manages to save a few cents on every component at the end it will save millions. And that is the way it works.

Besides that computers are built with components that are designed specifically to last a certain amount of time. If you want to keep using your computer longer than this preset timeframe you will need to replace components that are made relatively expensive to buy and to replace. Why? Because they want you to dump the old computer and buy a new one.

That is also why computers have a limited warranty. Why limited? Because of the pre-defined life of the computer. So, the first year you’re safe and in case your computer is a DOA (Dead on Arrival) or fails within this period, it will be replaced or repaired. Mostly the computer will start to fail in the period just after the warranty expired, what a coincidence! You could eventually rely on consumer associations to get partial refund after warranty period, but that takes a lot of effort even though there are laws in place to protect the consumer in these cases.

Normally, when a computer fails and it is just out of warranty we see it as bad luck and we accept it as being normal. But it is far from normal! This mechanism of new models failing after a predefined period of time is a huge waist of energy and natural resources. What is done with al failed computers? They are partially recycled or just thrown away in mere frustration.

What if we could have the computer that fits our needs, not needing any replacement because it is made of the best quality materials, running just the best and most intuitive operating system that is just working always. And if it fails it can be repaired by replacing the failing part, no need to replace the whole machine. All this will be the standard in a world with an Equal Money System where only one simple rule is applied: what is best for all. With just this simple rule we will be able to create a world of equality with a decent and beautiful life for every living being on this planet. Anyone not willing to live in heaven on earth?

So, if you dare to change the world into a system that is best for all and will supply you with computers (among all other things of course) with a life time warranty (and therefore the warranty can be abolished since there are no other types of warranties), join us at Desteni to discuss on our forums this topic or many others so you can be part of the creation of a better world by starting to better yourself.

What about fashion, will the fashion industry still exist?

The fashion industry as it is now is an industry, meaning that it is profit driven and all about image and good looking. Throughout my life, while watching models going over the catwalk, I always asked myself who on earth was going to wear all these extravagant clothes. First you need to look like a model, thin, long legs the right proportions. This because I could not imagine a person with an average size fitting in these clothes. So, when are the occasions one would wear these catwalk clothes? When one wants to show off, showing others how cool he or she looks thanks to the clothes. Even if they eventually are not comfortable, too tight, unpractical. All that matters is that it’s haute couture with a name and that it triggers the image of the lady on the catwalk. What an illusion it all is! And nobody really cares but you. And what if you do not have the money to buy this extravaganza? You go to the market and buy made in China replica’s of fashion clothes where you squeeze yourself in with the illusion you still look good.

So, lets define fashion. Fashion is buying clothes we think are cool or allow us to be seen by others without having the feeling we are different and at the same time we define our own specific image with the clothes we wear. So what is going through your mind when you choose what you are going to wear in the morning? Most probably you are asking yourself what others will think about you.

For several years now most of our clothes in my family are self made. Fashionable for sure but also taking care of using the right fabric, the right size so it fits nicely, giving the necessary comfort. We also add an element of fun by putting all sort of text or drawings on our clothes. Great fun choosing the drawing or text. Sometimes, when the kids are wearing a new set of clothes to school we parents ask if they received any comment. Until now the answer has been: “no”. So, it seems that at least here in Italy teenagers are not openly commenting on each others clothes. Strange though is that most youngsters wear the latest fashion jeans and shirts, preferably of a known brand.

The actual fashion industry is using many highly polluting processes and a high level of labor abuse to produce the garments we find in the shops at the end of the chain. Most clothes are sawn by people that work long days and are paid per piece a very low wage. In the shop this is far away and we are prepared to spend large sums of money to buy them.

What is going to happen with the fashion industry in an equal money system? Like all profit driven industries there will be no reason to exist. There will be no need to show off with much too expensive designer clothes. No need to fit yourself in a shine through dress that limits your movements because it is too tight and because you are wearing high heels hoping it will not get too cold since you have nothing to cover yourself with.

Clothes will be designed to fit properly in order to give comfort and protection against sun, wind, heat, cold. Fabrics will be nice to your skin and there will be no irritating labels that pop out or irritate the wearer because  of the material they are made of. Will we wear all the same clothes then? Not necessarily. Clothes will be a perfect way to express oneself, you can have a fulfilling time without harming others. Fashion will become self expression: The art of dressing. only the best fabrics will be available, produced in a way that is best for all and of the best possible quality so they will last as long as possible.

Will everyone wear the same clothes? — Equal Money FAQ

Learn more about THE solution to our crisis: Equal Money System (EMS)

 

Picking fruit in an Equal Money System

Click to read FT article

Ever asked yourself who picked the apple or the pear you buy in the shop? Ever asked yourself where it came from? To many of us it is normal to have a full choice of fruit in the shop so we are ‘free’ to choose and eventually feel good about it. When I started to consider and to research the other end of the fruit chain the pear I ate started to taste a little bitter.

Besides the seasonal fruit from the area there is a lot of fruit coming from everywhere. What about the fruit that is flown in from China for instance? Sounds crazy if you really consider the fact the fruit you buy is coming from the other side of the globe. In what we call ‘civilized countries’ part of the fruit in the shops is Made in China! This tells me that the price paid at the source has to be very low since the transportation and the wholesale part of the final price is quite big.

If you start surfing on the internet you’ll find an enormous variety of fruit picking job offers. Some as normal seasonal jobs, many disguised as nice holiday activities even as backpacking destinations in countries around the globe. They are advertised as nice jobs where you can make a lot of money. Reading a couple of forums gives a different picture and stresses on what fruit picking really is. This sentence comes from one of these forums: “Working in orchards is backbreaking menial labor. That is why most of the work in the fruit industry in the US (and increasingly Canada) is done by transient Latin Americans who are happy with any work.”

This brings me to the point of money. Fruit picking is a labour intensive activity that is mostly done by low wage working force that is happy with the little money they get so they can survive in our actual capitalistic world system. “Who cares” you could say, “everybody is happy, ‘they’ make some money where else they would starve and we can buy relatively cheap fruit in our shops.”

Let me question the point of ‘us’ in the rich part of the globe having the luxury to choose from all kinds of fruit coming from all over the planet to our shop. Is there a real need? Is it to give us a feeling we have a wider choice so we can feel happy? Could be. Are we still happy if we consider the fruit picker doing all the hard work for a wage that is just enough to survive? And what if we consider the trading system that is squeezing the farmers to sell for the lowest price and selling it again for the highest possible price to the retailers? And do not forget all the energy used for the transportation, often refrigerated, of millions of tons of fruit, from producer to consumer.

When I started to consider all these points the fruit I bought started to taste bitter. What is wrong with the apples from the nearby countryside? And what is wrong about not eating apples when it isn’t the right season? Like many other facts in our daily life this is a situation of abuse that, even though we are not agreeing with it, we support and accept by keeping on buying our exotic fruit. This suggests that if we start buying only local produce or fruit that has ben picked by people that have been properly paid for it, we can stop eventually this abusive fruit trade.

Applying this in practical life is not easy since the whole system we live in is working the same way as the fruit industry. The whole trade is based on maximizing profit and is not taking into account long term sustainability, decent compensation for farmers and who has to do the labor. If we stop consuming all goods that are ‘unethical’ we probably will starve or have at least troubles in getting enough food.

Is it possible to switch to a more local based economy? In theory yes, the reason why we have seen the opposite happening is because the trading of goods made it more attractive for producers to specialize on a product instead of keeping a variety of products. Again, focussing on the highest possible profit. Why? Because we need money to ‘buy’ a decent life and if possible even more than just decent. We are raised as consumers and we ‘need’ to own a house, a car, all kind of equipment. Not because we need it to live a decent life but to feel good and eventually better that others that are not managing to reach the same levels of wealth.

Again we can look at the consequences of the wealth we see as a standard in our western democracy consumeristic society. If we look at the total equation of what the standards we live in are causing at the other end of the balance we see there is no balance at all. There is only abuse. In order to live our life’s the way we do now, other humans are suffering and struggle every day to survive.

We are running towards a global crash of the actual economic system. Bailout after bailout we see no changes, it only gets worse and we made enough debts to ensure the grandchildren of our grandchildren a heavy tax burden. Every day we keep on accepting and allowing our actual system we are worsening this situation of inequality and total lack of respect to life itself.

So, what is the solution? A system that starts from a point of equality for all. Only when life will be seen as a fundamental right for every living being on earth in total equality, so no difference between you and me, we can start to build a real sustainable system where money is not anymore a tool for power and available to the happy few but a fundamental right that stands for life. This system exists and is called the Equal Money System. Since it is the only system considering equality for all it is sustainable for ever and a way to end the hell we are now living in on earth.

Before a system like Equal Money can be implemented we need to change as humans. The only way to do so is to stop blaming others and take our own responsibilities for everything we do and say. This goes much further than you might think. It implies you take responsibility for the fruit you buy in the shop, considering the consequences of you buying it and therefore supporting an abusive system. It implies taking self responsibility for all you think, say and do. There is no other way to start a real change in this world than by changing yourself and being a living example to others.

If you are ready to take the step, visit the site of Desteni to find a lot of fascinating and revealing information about the world we are all part of. You can go a step further and start using the tools to develop yourself, supplied with the DIP courses. To see who already is in the process of change for an equal world you can visit the Destonians site and for your questions visit the Wiki.

Drought

It is now many weeks ago we had some rain. The grass on the fields turned brown and the plants in the vegetable garden need regular watering in order to survive drought and heat. It has been unceasingly hot for over two weeks now with temperatures above the 30 degrees. The 2400 liter rainwater I use to water the vegetables lasted until a couple of weeks ago, since then I have to use tap water.

Yesterday I was reading an article in a local newspaper that was commenting about the fact the local administration prohibits to use tap water for other purposes than personal hygiene and drinking. If you are caught watering your garden or washing your car you risk a fine from € 25,– until € 500,–.  I was surprised because, besides the long period of heat and no rain I was still seeing water in rivers and smaller streams. The local administration is pointing at the water used by the many gardens that people hold on the river banks as the main reason for water shortage.

It is true there is little water in some rivers but nature is greener than ever, the drought is superficial. Last winter we had huge amounts of rain and snow and most springs are working normally which was not the case last year when the rivers where dry and the more superficial springs ran out of water. But no limitations to the water usage since it kept raining regularly, only delivering very little quantities of water.

The article continues to make a point on the maintenance of riverbeds. Instead of cleaning the beds from natural debris like trees, mud and stones the only thing that is done is rising the river banks, not giving sufficient protection when there is really a lot of water coming down. This year in early spring the rivers caused several floodings even though the water amounts were not extremely huge. Apparently the main reason for the river beds not showing any water is not the shortage of water caused by the gardens (having the same issue since there is no water to be seen) but the fact for many years now there had been no maintenance to the river beds. The water is flowing deep under the rocks and eventually pops out somewhere mere downstream.

The writer is clearly questioning the starting point of the water usage limitations. It is very possible that the water company responsible for the water delivery to not only the inlands where I live but also the cities on the Adriatic coast is afraid of water shortages. Water is a power business here in Italy. A week before the Italians voted against water being managed by private companies the water management of the whole area went over to the company already responsible for natural gas and electricity delivery. Dirty game. Since money is coming from the coast area the inland is less important and is asked to reduce water consumption on behalf of the bigger cities only because they fear a water shortage.

To me this is a clear example of political power games that serve no purpose than making sure a small group of people is making money. There is absolutely no common sense nor equality to be found here. If we were managing the available water in the interest of all and with common sense applied by everyone there should be never a real water shortage. The truth is that water is spilled every day, both consciously as unconsciously due to ignorance. Ignorance as in giving your lawn so much water that is floods out of the garden over the street or while sweeping your house and dumping the dirt in the toilet, flushing it up to ten times until finished cleaning.

The average amount of water used per person per day is 191 liter. For our family it equals 23 cubic meters a month. Being ware of the water we use we managed to lower our consumption from 20 to 14, including watering the garden when there is no rain water available. During summer we take almost a shower a day, we use the washing machine normally, we use the dishwasher once a day. We do not water the grass, the trees and the vegetables with more than necessary, we try to avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily, we close the tap when brushing our teeth and we limit shower time to what you need to clean, shave etc. No big deal and no discomfort at all. Only for our small town a reduction like our would lead to almost 28 cubic meters of water saving a year per person. That is a reduction of billions of cubic meters in Italy alone. All water that does not need to be filtered, pumped, distributed and paid for. As long water is privatized water consumption reduction is not economically interesting so please keep on using your water. Do not consider that all these billions of cubic meters are polluted by soap, chemicals and medicines and need to be cleaned again.

What a waste! Lets take our responsibility. As you can see in this example the effect of normalizing your personal water usage on a large scale is huge. Lets use our common sense for a better world and not only with water consumption!

Making the right choice

Tonight I finally managed to put our 4×4 car online for sale. Yesterday and today we cleaned it thoroughly and around noon we made a series of photographs. Only an hour after I put the announcement online I had growing doubts. Are we really doing the best thing in common sense? Let’s analyse the whole process that lead to this action:

  1. Ownership of two cars is rather expensive so we decided to replace the oldest car by one or two small motocycles.
  2. An old car uses a lot of fuel and has an expensive maintenance and insurance.
  3. At school A. had the opportunity to have lessons and do a theory exam for a special drivers licence (‘patentino’ that allows youngsters from the age of 14 to drive a small size motor vehicle).
  4. A. will have the possibility to travel without having to bother us.
  5. If one of us uses the only remaining car the other(s) will have the motorbike to move around.
  6. We will have to pay less insurance and less fuel.
It is amazing to see that all these points are money driven. And that they are potentially leading to spend even more or at least not making decisions based on common sense. Let’s analyse deeper the point I mentioned:
  1. If I manage to register the 4×4 car as an old timer I can save up to € 500,–/year on insurance and taxes.
  2. Maintenance is a risky point for an old car.
  3. We save money by having A. doing this with school compared to doing it at a private car driving school. It still costs quite some money and until now nobody was able to tell us what we were going to spend for the whole thing.
  4. A. has to travel 40 lm to go to school, too far to do with a motorcycle at her age for now. Other destinations she might want to reach are in colse and can easily be reached by bike.
  5. In winter and other bad weather conditions it is useless to travel with the motorbike especially in the case we need to pick up J. from his school in a nearby town.
  6. I was shocked when I found out that the insurance of a motorbike is very expensive. The less expensive one is more or less the same price as the car insurance with old timer discount. If we want to have two motorcycles this will just double the price and there will be no benefit anymore.
Having summend this up, It seems there is no commons sense in selling the car and replace it for a motorcycle but for the fuel consumption. A motorcycle uses roughly 2,5 times less fuel compared to the car. The price per liter is high since it needs lubricant added. In a year that is a difference of about € 200,– more for the car. In other words, to travel 2000 km a year with one motorcycle will cost about € 1200,–, to do the same with our 4×4 dong nothing the same! If we register the car as an oldtimer we will spend only € 600,–.
The only thing that remains is the maintenance costs that can cause nasty surprises with an old car. Replacing the car for another, smaller car is not interesting, you might only save some money by buying a cheaper car but it will be without the old timer benefits. In common sense it seems we have to stick to the car at least for now.
Selling it without getting something in return is not an option since public transportation is almost inexistant. As long as I have to travel regularly for my work there is a practical need for a second car for the remaining members of the family in the situation we live in now.