Sunday, July 7, 2024


"You get a wonderful view from the point of no return." Making Money 

This will be a pretty long post, but. as I sit listening to the wonderful rumble of thunder on a half day off, it is a good way to fill the time.  I've been reading Making Money by Terry Pratchett this week.  Well.. I began reading it in May in Florida from the library there, but I had to return it without the time to get far into it.  However, it kept nagging at the back of my brain that I needed to finish it.  So, I checked out the audiobook and finished it, this week.  Off and ok, I've shared some quotes on social media, but this will be things not shared or shared incompletely.  It solves several personal misalignments and.. I think  .. is good for everyone to consider.

"What is the value of a gold coin,  compared to the dexterity of the hand that holds it?" Making Money

There is a lot of discussion among characters in the book about the value of... well... value.  At one point, the trickster hired to build the bank explains that a sack of potatoes is more valuable to someone on an island that is hungry than a bag of gold.  He sets out to explain and to create a system of paper currency, based on the government and not the gold in a vault.  He explains you don't need the gold, if others accepted dollars as value without it.

This leads to a series of assumptions and concepts that challenges a whole series of my own foundational concepts.. a challenge, as it seems... needed challenging.  

I'm someone that my core is based on fact and truth, and that remains the case.  But, even before resuming this book, I acknowledged in a post in recent weeks that SENTIMENT adds value to something that is not present in the bare bones of fact.  A neighborhood is meaningful to one person for different reasons, while it is just old buildings, streets, people.  That is true... even if in absolute provable fact, it is not.

A lot has happened in the course of my life over the last years to change me and what I believed was important to be happy.  I've lost jobs, a marriage, family, and many assets along the way.  In a very systematic way, things of personal value was stripped away from me, and I gradually... kicking and screaming along the way.. learned that happiness could exist in simplicity without all those things... and that I could rebuild my life in a different way, much like hanged Albert Spangler becoming the respected Moist that saved the post office and later the bank.  It wasn't the facts of his experience or the presence of wealth that did so.  It was the understanding that value is something you could create... become... if you had the confidence to do so.

"Indeed..a copy of something that does not exist.  One can only assume it is authentic in every respect." Making Money 

Here's where some of my perceptions changed.  I've for a very long time hated fake people and attempts of people to change their appearance and become more attractive.  It's not just others.  For a very long time, I wore glasses, after wearing contacts to once be a model and to attract people in dating and such.  I wanted them to love me for me and not appearance.  If that sounds very recent, it's been a recent opinion, as well.  But... it's wrong.

Fact is (there's a truth to it)... people like illusion.  They want to be seen a certain wah, and others want to see them that way.  Dating apps... and people just in clubs.. are full of those presenting the best image lf themselves... employed well, pretty, strong, wealthy, sexual, empathetic, and much more.  There's some truth to it, but it's a mask.  Then, people get to know someone and see they are really less iconic or attractive, when the mask comes off in real life.  Problems arise as people feel deceived or like they didn't know the flaws as well as the good parts, even as they hid so much of themselves, as well.  But... why should that change things?  Perception... as the book teaches.. is reality.  If people want to continue to get willingly deceived, it can be a very happy life.  It doesn't help when the deceivers stop making an effort to maintain the illusion, though.

"I know you're not a man to be influenced by money, but the raise might be worth considering by a man contemplating a change in his domestic arrangements." Making Money 

I accept some blame in this regard.  Sometimes.. often.. situations made it difficult to maintain the illusion, and sometimes I did it out of unrequited gestures.  I gave up a house and a job to assist a romantic interest.. only to lose material attractiveness.  I moved to Florida to be near my child, only to have to work so hard I had less time with the child and less gifts for them, as well.  Had I kept my house, my job, and stayed in a less expensive environment so that I had more money, my entire life that followed would have been easier and more accepted and admired by others.

Image... is... value.  Perception is value.  When you remove the perception of value, you remove value itself.  Despite my railing against wealth...and I still DO dislike the accumulation that takes from others.. the existence of wealth and success.. or the perception of it.. MUST exist to give others the drive to improve themselves.  The greed of wanting more is the backbone of giving life meaning.. whether that be wealth or more... friends, likes, sex... whatever.  In the Great and Powerful Oz movie, we learned the illusion of a great wizard gave people hope to want to be better, and my own criticism of religion is rebuffed by the understanding that that illusion.. like any other in society like Santa Claus or sports or porn or more.. can give people meaning to rise and enjoy their otherwise... barebone factually mundane lives.  It's like people attacking the trans people or gay and lesbian... why rob them of reason to live?  Indeed, in one episode of Sandman, a man with power removes illusion and dreams from a cafĂ©, and the end of that episode is everyone dead.  Dreams... are empowering illusions.

So... my life is not over.  It has just changed.  I can rebuild, but to take a lesson from Moist that means putting on a better show... BECOMING and projecting value, and that show will invariably lead to a much happier life.

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