STONE BANK (here and below)
Today, over at Maggie's Garden, she talks about art being made out of money. You'd never think it was money unless you looked really close but the idea that it sparks is quite interesting. Just what exactly IS money, its value, what it all means to all of us at this time in our history where when you think you HAVE money, all of a sudden it vanishes into thin air.
It sparked a memory of a recent segment that I heard on NPR the other day where the Yap people (an island in Micronesia) use stones for money. You can read about this here and see more photos of the island and their culture. What I find interesting is this: that we are capable (as human beings) to assign value to something and then actually use it for things that we want or need. How many of us have wonderful stone collections in our own homes? They are valuable to us in other ways than exchange for goods. Or maybe not! There are a lot of stone collections that I have seen in this blog-o-sphere that I would trade something for...seriously!
What's amazing to me is that there are no actual "bankers" watching these stones so that they don't get stolen. There are no bank robberies here I would imagine. BUT...they still have value. They are mostly used in trade when someone gets married, when you need to make an apology to someone or a family, and other uses that are more esoteric rather than just for goods. But, I like the idea.
I am not sure that I have enough acreage here on Mole Hill to handle all the stones I would need! And, how would I get it to the party concerned? Hire a U-Haul, with what? STONES? Maybe our country needs to quit arguing about money and just start trading goods again. Wouldn't that be a novel idea! I'll trade you a week's house cleaning for fixing the motor in my car...I'll trade you a collage (maybe made of paper money?) for my dental work. How would we figure out who was rich and who was not? And...does it really matter anyway?
I think that we, as human beings, have lost our way about this and need to re-think it. Does it really matter how many pairs of shoes we have? I know people who can't even afford to buy ONE pair of shoes. We always have to have the latest cars, the fanciest jewelry, the over-flowing closets of clothes, and on and on. Sure, I am guilty of all the above. But...I think that maybe getting back to the basics is not a bad idea.