What will happen to Warren Buffett’s 64B$ ?

Warren Buffett is one of the world wealthiest people and it sounds logical to wonder what would happen to his wealth in a Equal Money System. Although he is giving away up to 99% of his fortune to philanthropic causes like the Gates Foundation he is not contributing to an equal world by doing this since the goals of this foundation, to globally enhance healthcare,  and reduce extreme poverty are not based on the principle of an equal life for all.

Even before an Equal Money System is going to be implemented there are ways the existing wealth of a few on earth like Warren Buffett can be used to finance initiatives like the Basic Income Grant (BIG) that ensures every living person on earth to get enough money to provide for their basic needs.

Since Warren Buffet already is donating his wealth it should not be impossible to redirect money to BIG after having properly explained what this grant is based on, unless there is a hidden agenda that is against the redistribution of wealth in the interest of all. I can only guess about the motivates this man has to donate his wealth. It is very plausible that he is driven by profit and that also his donations are aimed at incrementing his capital in some way, money attracts money.

So, how would it be possible to change this situation and redistribute wealth in such a way that everybody in an equal way can benefit from it? To answer this question lets start to look at ourselves. If asked we are often willing to donate something for a good cause. What is our motivation in the moment we decide to give money? Many options are possible here, but they are eventually starting from the same point: fear. Fear in a subtile way that can be like: “I prefer to donate a specific amount I decide instead of having to give an amount decided by others”. Or you might think you are doing a good thing so you can tell others you did so to feel good, not taking into consideration you are doing this to feed your ego in order not to feel guilty to have a better or more decent life than others.

In either way money is seen as a property, something that belongs to you and you have an emotional binding with. Money means you have the means to survive, and the more you have the nicer your life can be, the more choices you might thing to have, it makes you happy and gives you power, the power to rule over others with less money or in need of money. This makes it very difficult to give our money away, even if we have plenty of it. And if we do the motivation is very often based on a calculation and dealt with as an investment to improve our image or out of fear in an attempt to protect our position.

Money is not considered as life itself, as a supporting tool to give us all a decent living. The challenge in the coming times is to let people gain insight in what money really is and what we need to do in order to take our responsibilities towards ourselves and therefore to all other living beings so we can create a sustainable way of living on our planet without any form of abuse in situations of equality for all, making life worthy for all and not for a happy few. You can start asking yourself how really happy one can be in a unequal world where you constantly need to protect your belongings from those that might take it from you just because they try to survive.

So what can we do to contribute to a better world? We need to educate ourselves and others in the process of educating themselves so we can become all living part of a world that is giving equal chances to every living being. Follow us at Desteni.

Join the discussions on our Desteni Forum and our Equal Money Forum. Register here to get information about Equal Money Book. Visit the Desteni and the Equal Money sites for life coaching and more information.

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Integration opportunity

A couple of days ago I received a mail from a company in Switzerland asking if I was still available for a job I applied for over a year ago. I answered yes without hesitation since my actual economical situation is not really allowing me to let go any offer of this type.

Besides the financial factor we as a family consider this opportunity a new step in our process of re-integrating back into society we fled from when moving to Italy. We never found the country we had in our imagination, the reality was harsh and merciless.

Although the proposed salary is not very high and it will still remain a challenge to make a decent living out of it I decided to accept the challenge. Together with my partner and kids we are working on all kind of scenario’s to see what is the best solution. Do we have to move right away, are the kids going to finish the school year before we move while I travel back and forth in the weekends?

Without doing future projections, or at least limiting it to a minimum we are considering all the possible options looking at practical points and financial sustainability. If we have to move on a short term we need financial help to pay for the move, if we do it in the summer I can start earning some money and save some to pay for the move.

Although I am living this new opportunity in a quiet way my body is reacting heavily to this possible change. I have definitely a couple of resistances here to consider in the near future. My Colitis Ulcerosa, a chronic disease that did not bother me for over twenty years and started when I moved from Italy to Holland, is back and is furious. But something changed in the way I am living this disease. I had fear twenty years ago, now I monitor the evolution of the disease and will see a doctor shortly to have medication to treat the symptoms.

Although I still have to go for job interview, I am walking a process of preparing myself with all the necessary information I can find to be able to make a proper decision and ask for the right conditions. That to me is taking self responsibility within the context of the moment I am in right now, living it breath by breath.

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.

Did I reach my goals in my life?

A friend of mine suggested me to write my blog about the question if I managed to reach the goals I had when I was age 18. My first reaction was that it did not sound as an interesting topic. But looking better at it I decided to have a try.

To be honest I do not recall very specific idea’ s I might have had at that age. I was actually in a kind of crisis. I just doubled the last year of my high school and was supposed to move from Italy to Holland to start a study at a Professional School.

The general idea I had was to study until I had a diploma and then look for a job that might give me a decent income, just like my father. I never had a real clue of what actually the work of my father consisted in. He was in management and at the time I had very little fantasies about being a manager. I wanted to do practical stuff and technical stuff.

The first years after high school in Holland were a nightmare. I started with the Horticultural School where I found out that the students were to my opinion very narrow minded on almost anything. They considered me as a “Mafioso” since I came from Italy. After two years I decided to stop. I started working and to finish my missing High School year doing a evening school. After one year I decided to use my own money to go to a private school for Hospitality Business. I managed to do two years in just one with very nice grades.

The ‘black years’ had a huge impact on me. I developed the “Colitis Ulcerosa” Illness that lasted for several of years. Funny enough the illness started within the first year I moved to the Netherlands and stopped in the year after I found a good job at IKEA. Stability in my life cased me to have a healthier body.

My inherited restlessness caused me to quit my job at IKEA since I started to get bored, at least that was what I gave myself as an excuse to quit and change, seeking for a more challenging job. I tasted the world of MLM for a while (see my  previous blog) and finally I found a nice job at a Hewlett Packard Call center. I was happy with the fact I could use my technical skills combined with my knowledge of several languages.

No surprise that after a while (it took seven years this time) I decided to work for a small company specializing in what I was already doing a lot for HP, Training people on printers, sales and technical. Here my career stopped because the small company could not afford me any longer and did not renew my contract. Since then I am self employed.

In all these years I was trying to picture a perfect career that would allow me to use my skills and allow me to earn a nice salary. I pretty soon found out that knowing several languages is not necessarily something that allows you to make a nice living. There is a bigger chance you can make money by knowing two languages and you did your studies on University as a translator than knowing at least 5 of them on a high level and doing a support agent job in a call center. I remember that I felt abused quite regularly because people not knowing languages very easily asked you for your services never understanding how intense and difficult translating can be, resulting in low rewards for the work you were doing.

I actually never stopped defining and redefining what my ideal job should be. Even if I have a clear idea about my skills it is still difficult to translate that into an ideal job. OK, there is no perfect job. Even after becoming self employed, a step that should have allowed me to pick the jobs that suited my skills best, I learned that making money was the first and the last criteria when accepting a job. Nothing else. Until today, every minute I am working on a project for a customer, the main drive is to satisfy the customer in order to get paid. I can put a lot of sills and creativity in my work, but always limited by money in some way (e.g. the customers budget limiting me to focus on basics with no added value that might benefit the whole).

Back to the question of my friend. She added if I was satisfied with what I managed to make of my goals. The question kind of embarrassed me. I am not very often asking myself if I am satisfied. Not on that level. I am still trying to make a living in a society I almost tried to escape from. I have still a hard time fitting in in the way many others do, performing their tasks within their jobs without asking themselves if the work they do (or try not to do or as little as possible) is contributing to something other than their monthly salary.

In a certain way I am satisfied if I look to what I have learned. I have become very flexible and able to quickly fit in in many different types of jobs, both technical, management, commercial, and even handcrafts. Although I tend to say that I am not drive by satisfaction, I must admit that it is not true. Looking back, at the completion of a job/task I am always trying to find the point of satisfaction for the work I did. But what is being satisfied doing with me? Nothing more than satisfying my EGO! There is nothing practical in being satisfied! It does not serve any other purpose than feeding your EGO.

So, lets’s skip this whole satisfaction thing and do our tasks, work, job with one simple goal: The best interest of all. So everybody benefits from it, you and me included.

My relationship with money

Since I am struggling with time without seeing real improvement in the way I manage to perform all the tasks I plan to do I started to look at the the causes.

The first cause is obvious, making a schedule that is too tight to be real. Why I am doing it? Because I wish I could do everything I plan. Why this drive to do as much work next to my other family and home related tasks? Money!

I am taking as much work as I possibly can (or hope to be able to manage) in order to make enough money to make a living out of it. Most jobs or projects I work on are time consuming because they need research, preparation or are just a lot of work for little money. And I do not feel I have the choice not to consider these ‘lesser’ jobs because of my need for money.

Apparently there is something structurally wrong here. I should make a MC on this since the money issue is teasing me for quite a while. Let’s go back in time. The first time I had to deal with a lack of money was when I decided to leave my job at IKEA in order to dive into the promising business of selling water filters for a Company called NSA. It was not a normal business, it was a MLM organization. After a couple of meetings I was convinced by my brother who got involved and managed to convince me to follow his example. Why did I decide to participate, to invest money first buying products I never managed to sell and to find myself jobless and broke after a couple of months? During the meetings of NSA the main topic was about making money, large amounts of money. So the answer is: Greed!

As I saw that I did not have the right living style to meet large numbers of people and talk them into MLM I was not able to grow my network, I started looking for another job that brought me back into a situation of stable income again.

Strangely enough and although I had a stable income, it seemed I never managed to have the money I needed to keep up with the facts of life. SInce I met my partner S. everything seemed to speed up and within a short time we got married, bought our first home. A couple of years later we bought a larger home since our second child was on it;s way, together with a larger (second hand) car. If I looked at others around me I always wondered how they managed to have a brand new car, all kind of equipment and could afford nice trips abroad at least twice a year. I was practically jealous without knowing it.

To make things even more complex and because of not wanting to see my real situation that was not very stable income wise (I was self employed by then) we decided to more to Italy to escape from a series of things we should have addressed properly instead of running away from them.

Financial misfortunes added up when we had a buyer for our house that was not able to pay even if he already signed, we started a lawsuit, won it but never got a single penny, we only spent a lot of money for the lawyer. In Italy the foreseen amount of work was quickly becoming less and less and I had to move myself into other area’s of activities in order to make some money.

I realize I am still in the process of stabilizing myself. I still do not manage to have a stable income and the economical situation is not making it easy to find a job that takes care of that. I am now in a better situation then last year when, for the second time in my working life my contract was suddenly terminated because the company had to decrease costs. Now again the company I do part time work for is not making that much money, leaving very little for the last one that joined the club: me.

I need to investigate the mechanisms behind these jobs that all tend to end prematurely. Sometimes there is a voice in my head that says: “What if you never quit your job at IKEA? Maybe you still worked for that company.” and again: “You decided to leave HP to join a small company in the hope to have a more challenging working life and make more money”.  Either it was an end of contract or a personal choice that caused me to change jobs. What has my real motivation been in the occasions I decided to quit and what did I manifest when I found myself without a job? Was it only money? At the time, for me the motivation was often that I got bored in a job and needed to change in order to stay ‘awake’.

A couple of years ago I would not have been able to even start considering these points. Now, with the tools of Desteni, I am able to face myself and to systematically work to the very starting point, the origin of thoughts and facts that lead to where I am now. Only by knowing yourself in complete honesty will allow me to become stable and expand myself  being here, now, breathing.

The solution to my money issues? An Equal money system!

Time management

It is a while that I stopped doing my DIP course assignments. In the months I did managed to send in my assignments I experienced resistances resulting in a lousy time management in regards to my DIP course. When the tight schedule I had to manage was frustrated by the experience and the consequences of an event in our house I decided to temporarily put on hold my DIP assignments and focus on what I had to do related to the event.

If I look strictly at how I am using the time I have every day I see that very often my work related activities tend to ‘eat’ away time planned in for other activities. This was mainly caused by extra work that needed to be done to close a project and get paid for it. The extra work is another point to tackle since it was a consequence of unclear agreements with the person I was collaborating in these projects. I created pictures of what I supposed could be his role in the project discovering at the end it was not matching the reality. To make this more complex, the person contributed and eventually believed himself in being competent. Who has been manifesting what?

Back to planning. Summer has been very busy and besides a non stopping flow of work, quite some time went into social activities with family that come to visit us. The couple of days I spent with my kids should not make the difference. What I experiences was that whatever I planned to do I had always to adjust my planning everyday postponing systematically several tasks that had to make place for others taking more time than planned.

Apparently I am too optimistic when planning certain tasks. I checked if I was really using the time effectively. I am making progress here since I found myself regularly diving into matters that where unnecessary and distracting me form the real thing I had to do. It is amazing how the mind manages to hijack your concentration by a specific trigger word you unconsciously read while working on your task. I am becoming more and more aware of this behavior and can take care of it.

It was easy to leave the DIP assignment out of my mind. There were so many things to plan I did not even consider to put DIP time in my schedule. Now I see that the amount of work is not decreasing and that I need to take responsibility in this. Yesterday I started again working on my lessons. I am not sure how to deal with the upcoming events that will populate my schedule but I will use common sense to do it.