This idea of rethinking wealth in terms of well-being is really capturing people’s imagination. I received responses from readers with insights, stories and quotes that illuminate what this could look like. Below are a few of them. Keep the ideas coming! This is a future are co-creating together and it’s going to take all of us.
Eye of the Needle
Gary Reusche shared this thought: “The ‘Eye of the Needle’ was indeed a narrow gateway into Jerusalem. Since camels were heavily loaded with goods and riders, they would need to be un-loaded in order to pass through. Therefore, the analogy is that a rich man would have to similarly unload his material possessions in order to enter heaven.”
Gross National Product
The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. ~ Robert Kennedy
Supporting Local Bookstores Against the Odds
On Friday, January 28, 2022, Bookshop.org celebrated its second anniversary. Founded by Andy Hunter, Bookshop.org is a digital retailer of books that funnels 30% of its book sales into local brick-and-mortar bookstores. Hunter tried raising $1.2 million to start the venture, but the big investors didn’t want to go up against Amazon. Those who did invest, did so not for a return, but because they believe in local bookstores. In the past two years, Bookshop.org has distributed more than $21 million to independent bookstores in the U.S. and the U.K. See Porter Anderson’s Interview: Andy Hunter on Bookshop.org’s Second Anniversary
Investing in Infrastructure to Reduce Violence
In 1999, the city of Medellín in Colombia decided to invest in infrastructure for its impoverished Santo Domingo neighborhood. They built accessible transportation (gondolas on cables!), libraries combined with parks, new school buildings, recreation centers, microenterprise centers and family police stations focused on protecting women and children. What do you think happened? The homicide rate dropped by 84%. Residents began to see that they themselves could have a positive impact on reducing crime. Neighbors looked out for one another and intervened to break up fights between children. Now here’s an example of how progress actually “bubbles up” from the bottom, rather than trickles down from the top. See the details in Courtney Cobbs’s article Notes from Medellín: Can infrastructure investments help reduce interpersonal violence?
Children are writing books!
It all started with 8-year-old Dillon Helbig in Boise, Idaho. This enterprising young man decided to write his own book. Over the course of four days, he hand wrote and illustrated “The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismas”, an 81-page adventure story about an exploding Christmas tree. Once he finished, he brought his book with him on a trip to the local library with his grandmother—and slipped it onto the shelf when no one was looking. Now, 56 people are on the waitlist to read his book and all of the kids in his class are writing books of their own. A local author plans to host writing workshops at the library for kids who want to dive deeper. What a way to get kids excited about learning! See BBC’s article Eight-year-old’s handwritten novel takes Idaho town by storm