Life is all about money, but it shouldn’t be. Things need to change. I’d only be hesitant to write this if I thought I was the only one thinking it, but I know I’m not.
Things need to change NOW.
I love seeing people post about all of the injustices they see, but I feel like I’ve been too quiet about how I feel, so I’m ending my silence and using this blog to speak up a bit more. I’m ready to do something meaningful.
I hope all of this recent conversation about change, growth, and love grows to a scale that can’t be ignored. And I hope that, in the very near future, we can start to see a better world around us.
There are so many things I’ve seen, heard, experienced, and learned about in these last few years that need some real solutions:
- Prejudices and bigotry – against so many groups of people, it’s almost hard to keep up. And that is horrifying.
- Economic injustices – I’m just going to say it as I see it. I can’t think of a single reason why someone should be a millionaire or billionaire when there are people who are forced to go without a home, food, and the most basic human rights.
- Physical and mental health struggles – (made possible by a system that just doesn’t care about people’s wellbeing) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: EVERYONE should have access to basic healthcare. That definitely includes things like therapy and access to good healthy food.
That certainly isn’t everything. It barely scratches the surface. But these are three things that I want to see change now. Like right now.
I see no reason that laws should be allowed to discriminate on groups of people, I see no reason that our world should be built to keep the rich rich and bring everyone else down, and I see no reason that these twisted injustices should be preying on people’s mental and physical health.
But the sad truth is, we live in a system that is built off of one stupid, twisted, and misconstrued idea: profit.
Why is it that we see so many injustices in our justice system? Why is it that we’re in an obesity epidemic? Why is it that athletes make substantially more money than teachers? Hint: it has nothing to do with people actually going around committing a bunch of crimes or that people are “lazy” or that teachers aren’t insanely valuable. That’s bullshit.
It’s because we live in a world that only cares about profit, and sadly enough injustices and poor health are profitable.
I had an economics teacher in high school who taught me the most real thing I’ve ever learned. I didn’t understand it at the time, but she was trying to tell me about this profit thing. Everything she asked, no matter what it was, the answer would always be “It’s all about the money. It is always going to be all about the money.” She knew how right she was when she said that.
“It’s all about the money.”
I don’t have every answer to ending everything I’ve talked about (and all of the things that I didn’t mention but still matter, because let’s be real there’s way too many things that need to change to even fit in one article), but I do believe that if we each take some time to think about what we value and what we want to do to better for the world, we can make a huge difference by simply making our own lives different.
Dr. Nacoste, the best professor I’ve ever had, taught me the power of living what you believe and making a difference using your own actions and values.
If you’re interested in learning about Dr. Nacoste’s teaching on Neo-diversity, which is “that interpersonal situation in which we all have to encounter and sometimes interact with people from different groups by way of race yes, but also sexual orientation, religion, bodily-condition, sex-of-person, mental-health condition, gender-identity, age and on and on.” (Nacoste 2017), you can check out his article in Psychology Today or his book “To Live Woke“.
I have to shout out his work, he is my favorite professor after all. But getting back to my point, change really does start with ourselves.
Dr. Nacoste taught me that the best thing you can do when someone uses a slur in front of you is calmly let them know that you do not like that and that it hurts you to hear it. No yelling, bickering, or looking the other way: but simply having your standards for interaction understood and not letting anyone change those standards for you.
I think this is the best way to go about change when someone does something in front of you that you don’t like: tell them you don’t like the thing and let them know you will not tolerate that kind of behavior around you.
But let’s go back a step, what are the behaviors that you won’t tolerate? The best way to figure this out is to look at your values.
If everyone had good values, and lived by their values, the world would be a much better place. So those of us who do have good values should do just that, make sure we’re living by our values.
If you hate bigotry and prejudice, don’t accept that kind of behavior around you. Don’t let your friends make twisted jokes and don’t keep quiet when something bothers you just to “fit in”. If you hate economic inequality don’t support systems that promote this inequality.
Will this actually make a difference? Yes.
How do we make change? How do we stop making life all about money?
- We identify our values and determine what is meaningful to us.
Money isn’t meaningful. If you follow me on twitter or Instagram you probably have already heard my thoughts on how ridiculous it is that some made up concept controls our lives. And I refuse to be controlled (more than I have to) by such dumb shit. Sure, I have to pay the bills so I do subscribe to the 9-5 life, but beyond that I know what matters to me. My family, friends, girlfriend, co-workers, and everyone I care about definitely mean more to me than money. Saying that isn’t enough, but it’s a great first step.
- We support the things in our lives that support our values and reject the things that don’t.
Now that we’ve identified our values we can start to act on them. I could buy some cool thing I don’t really need and likely support some company that doesn’t deserve my money, or I could put my money toward a business that I know is bringing meaningful change to the world and supports my values. I could pick up an extra shift at work so I can have more of that $$ in my bank, or I could set that time aside to call my mother and see how she’s doing. We’re all going to have our own ways of implementing this step, but the basic idea is to go beyond SAYING what you value, and truly start to live it. I could say I value health, but if I never do anything to care for my health what does saying that even do?
- We speak up for what we believe in.
Well this is getting meta, since this blog is my step 3… Anyways, I do think speaking up for what we believe in is important. Spread the word, show your support, and let your voice be heard. I know some people get really annoyed saying things like “posting online isn’t going to make a change so quit pretending you’re doing something” (or whatever other negative things people will say that actually mean “I don’t want to speak up so I wish you’d stop”), but I have to disagree with these people. How do you expect to change the world if you aren’t being vocal about the changes that need to be made?
I know that it can sometimes feel really hard caring about things because of those days that make it feel like things are never going to get better, I’m sure 2020 gave us all that feeling, but we can’t stop trying to make change.
Some days I want to lay face down on my bed and admit defeat, but I try to remind myself that I can use my rage, built against the greedy economic system that we live in, to fuel myself out of bed and try to make things better.
“It’s all about the money.” Sure, maybe to some greedy jerk who has way too much of it, but to most of us I don’t think it’s about the money at all.
Most of us, I like to believe a large majority of us, just want to live meaningful and happy lives. We don’t want to see ourselves or anyone we love suffer because of a broken system that refuses to admit that it needs drastic change. This system that continues to try and manipulate people so it can keep us down, it shouldn’t have that kind of power over us.
Get “woke”. And by that I mean identify your values, live by them, and don’t let anyone stop you from that. Love the people next to you, put the important stuff over money, and be the baddest b*tch but don’t let money and greedy jerks control you.
Life is all about the money (to a select few), but it shouldn’t be. And I know it’s not easy, but I’m sure as heck not going to let my life be all about money and profit. We’re people, not dollar signs.
Until Next Time,
Stay Psyched and Live Woke