Lost Meanings

As Marshall McCluhen said years ago, the medium is the message. Money is our medium of value and the language of money is layered with meaning. However, many times we have lost the true understanding and meaning of the medium and therefore the message of what really matters - people and values- has been lost. Years ago, our financial system was embedded with some fundamental themes and these themes reflected our social values and aspirations at the time - e.g. people were expenses (e.g. considered expendable) and things were labeled 'assets' (meaning valuable). We thought and talked in terms of trust, security, and mutuality as things, but there was a disconnect between what we talked about as having value versus what we measured as truly valuable.

We accumulated what we measured - assets, we invested in what we created - "securities" and we spent on what we knew and understood - buildings. But what we did not measure or truly count was the value of mutuality.

As more of us realize that we suffer, we recognize that our old values need to be redefined. Financial thinking can no longer be "formulated" solely on "futures," "leverage," "options," and "profitability." We need to include the human values of trust, security, mutuality, and interest--- or we are bound for more trouble.

The bottom line is, of course, important. But the bottom is not the whole. So ask yourself a question: what do you value? Once you ask yourself that question, ask yourself one more --- have you lost the true meaning in your life, with your loved ones and in business?

Cailin Darcy