After having lived in France with my wonderful wife for a year and finding out we were going to have a baby (surprise!), we moved back to the States to raise our son and I ever so briefly became a finance professional. For about eight months I worked for a prominent brokerage firm and was trained as a stock broker and even tested and passed my exams for my licenses.
It was not only the fact that I was on the phone all day long and that I never had a free second to establish relationships with my coworkers, nor the fact that I was stuck in a cubicle that epitomized my worst nightmares that caused me to want to quit. It was the understanding of what exactly I was selling to people.
I knew even before I went to broker training that the economy was in some form or another a giant scam- I just didn’t realize how big it actually was. It was also the realization that none of my fellow brokers seemed to understand the origin of our currency itself- they just knew that a job in finance got you a little closer to the spigot where the money comes out. I won’t cover it in-depth in this article, but suffice to say that I am convinced that our world-wide economy is tantamount to a slave plantation where the slaves pay the cost of their own servitude in kind to the masters, who create and destroy currency in circulation at will, and thereby hold the levers of control over every man, woman, child, and government on the planet.
This realization did not sink in fully until I woke up one day in broker training staring at a book with a computer screen gleaming in front of me. Having glossed over a two page account of “where money comes from”, and then delving into the intricacies of mortgage pools, I was struck by the fact that according to my text, the worst case scenario for investors and banks, and the biggest risk that they want to avoid, is early repayment of a mortgage.
Hmmm… That’s funny. So the worst fear of the richest people in the world is that the people who owe them money will pay it back? Well yes. When you understand that currency = DEBT, this makes perfect sense. I knew this already but I didn’t really KNOW it. That is the information hadn’t quite sunken from my head into my heart. At this point something drastic changed in my outlook. I looked around at all of the other trainee brokers dutifully studying their books and was at once acutely aware of my motives for coming in every day to a job that I didn’t particularly like and spending my days preparing to be legally allowed to sell empty promises to people who I didn’t know in the hopes of building up a pile of electronic digits that were ultimately meaningless. Something snapped that day, and I knew I had become infected with the disease that has terminally crippled our society. The disease that has caused all of the evils and inequalities that we are facing as a people, a nation, and a world of human beings. This is the desire for comfort and security beyond which you have earned, thinking that somehow through cleverness and good timing you can strike it rich, not through adding value to others but by taking it away from them. I had become my own worst enemy.
It was not fear ( I had convinced myself), but love that brought me here. Love for my wife and my son, a desire to provide for them and give them everything that they needed. Good motives aside, I had a stunning gut check that day. I knew something for certain that I did not quite know before. The way in which you make your living is more important than the currency that you are given for it. I could not do this. I could not in good conscience continue in a career that was at its core designed solely to take the money from the bottom 90% of hardworking people and funnel it into the pockets of the upper 10%. Now my coworkers were not greedy money-hungry monsters- they were just normal folks with families and bills and worries like mine. I have nothing but compassion for them. However it is our collective complicity that allows this pervasive system of debt slavery to exist on this planet, and I woke from it one day as waking from a nightmare, and I didn’t know what to do about it.
I knew I could not go forward but I also knew that I had no idea what I would do otherwise. I talked at length with my wife about my recently growing conscience, and although she was sympathetic, we were both gripped with fear. The fear of not knowing where we were going to get money. The fear of not having enough money. This fear had gripped me like a tree root tapping into the center of my heart and holding it hostage. It took a few weeks of hashing it out, but I knew I had to resign.
One day I walked in with the intention and knew it was time. I promptly approached my manager and let her know I needed to talk to her privately. We went aside into a glass room and I gave my two weeks notice and dumped my thoughts and feelings about the matter onto her. Something strange happened. My otherwise stoic and reserved manager seemed to let down her guard. She became human. She told me about her dream to be a nurse and how she never worked up the courage to quit because she didn’t know what she would do for money while she was changing careers.
She was not the only one. One after another my coworkers came to me and admitted that they hated this job and strongly desired to do something more fulfilling with their lives. Most of them already had a good idea about what they really wanted to do. What kept them from living their dreams? Fear. The fear of money. This is perhaps the most potent driving force on the planet today. To be held in the grip of something so perverse as arbitrary digits in a computer is indeed madness. I know that now.
Life wasn’t all roses after I quit, but I can say that my family and I were always taken care of. I got a job working construction after my last day as a broker and worked a long and tiring 10 hours of physical labor with a clean conscience for the first time in a long time. I slept like a baby. I loved my life again.
We did have to pare down and move into a cheaper place and cut expenses. We did have to adjust our lives and didn’t have a lot of money (and still don’t). But that one step in fighting the fear of money changed the course of my life and my children’s lives. Now I am teaching electronics at a small community college in a rural area, and I don’t always love going in to work- but I can say that my burden is light, and my yoke is easy.
The only way to change the world is to change yourself. I am firmly convinced that if we stop participating one person at a time in a system of our own enslavement, that system will crumble. What will be left is a world where people do what they are passionate about and help each other through acts of charity and kindness, instead of living in perpetual fear. If you can conquer the fear of money- that is the fear of not having enough- then you can conquer anything.
great video about the scam that is our financial system.
another great video about getting the clutter out of your life.