I saw this picture the other day:
For a long time I have believed that where I spend my money is like casting a vote with every dollar. And I still believe that. I am deeply entrenched in the supply and demand sort of economics.
So…. maybe you noticed I’m doing a crowdfunding for a grocery store project… In the most raw sense – I’m asking people to believe in something that I believe in and give me money to make that happen.
I’ve been thinking about all of that a lot lately.
And then I had a not so flattering realization the other day.
I was at an event that I really enjoyed. It was at a nice venue and it was aesthetically pleasing, it was temperature controlled. I was with a friend and it was being held by a group of people who have a lot of passion for humanity.
And they asked for help to continue the cause.
And I flinched. I looked away, thought about how much cash money I actually had on my person.
And then thought about how I am AT THIS VERY MOMENT asking people to help me do something. And I need the financial support to make it happen. And I was embarrassed.
I often spend money at places where they don’t care about my money. Although I won’t spend money on things I don’t believe in (it has been over 10 years since I’ve spent any known dollars on a product that includes dyes and HFCS). But I can find lots of stuff to believe in at Target. (sigh) And if I stopped shopping there – it wouldn’t actually be a problem. And I notice I get super critical about places where it would actually make a difference.
Like – The person who played the violin today where my kids stopped and listened. And we talked about music and street stuff. My $10 provides a meal to that person. My $10 to Target… I’m not so sure where that goes. And yet – giving that guy $10 bucks is SO HARD. What if I need that $10 later? What did I get for that? (I’m not proud of this train of thought. This is what happens though)
Or a handmade item… suddenly I become judge and jury if I should spend my $4.50 on this bar of soap that was made by a PERSON in front of me. Then without a whole lot of thought, I will go spend 5 bucks at a chain coffeeshop. The contradiction is shocking and embarrassing.
And even worse than that… without a lot of thought I will spend 4 TIMES as much at another place where I’m not really sure what I bought.
I’m not going to do that any more. When I can spend my money to directly effect another person’s life and community and dream – I will do so. Over spending my money to some place that would never ever notice me missing.
Our dollars have value. Believe in that and spend it like it matters.
Just so you know – I gave those folks every paper dollar I had on me. Because for them – It will matter.