An old spindly farmer, with the love of the land written on his face, slowly walked out of the land owner’s house. He had just been told that, because of financial troubles, there was not enough money to pay his wages. He was able keep the house that he had built on the land. Times were bad, though, and many people in the town were out of work. The land values had plummeted and the prospect of selling was bleak. The old farmer had been working the same land for decades. He knew nothing else.
In the following days, when he passed the familiar fields on his way to town, he saw that they lay vacant, the spring weeds were starting to claim the land. In the center of town, he saw the once busy farmer’s market almost empty. A few stalls were still open, he picked up a few old potatoes and some wilting lettuce for dinner. Everybody was hurting in the town. Some were thinking of moving out. Many were wondering how they were going to make it, food reserves were running short after the long winter.
“Why must we starve?”, thought the old farmer, “There is still enough seed from last year and it is early enough in the spring to plant.” He reasoned, “I could hitch up the old plow to a horse, turn the land, and plant enough to take care of the families in town.” The land owner said that he was open to the idea, but could not pay the farmer or help him out. So the old farmer hitched up the horse and plowed, planted, and ran some water from the ditch onto the land. Several of his friends that were out of work also agreed to help out. Soon rows of green spring vegetables filled the field. The farmer noticed that other farms around him had followed his lead and started to plow and plant also.
After some weeks, the produce began to pour into the town market. Much of it was given away to people who could not pay and would trade for it with eggs, farm animals, credit, painting, labor, services, etc. Some people came with bottled fruits from their food stores and traded them for the fresh food and veggies. Life seemed a bit better around the town market. There began to be a good variety of food there every day. People at the market always seemed hopeful and in good cheer. Soon the market was thriving. There was not much money, but there now seemed to be plenty of food to trade among the families at the market and around town and even some to sell at other markets in the surrounding towns and cities.
During that summer, a visiting banker came to the town with the intention to take advantage of the destitution and to buy up the land at a fraction of its value. As he drove into town, he was surprised to see that despite the reported poverty there were well maintained fields and buildings. Everyone in town seemed to be doing well, all were cheerful and greeted each other on the streets. The center market was alive with activity. The land owners no longer were so quick to sell the land at the miserable price he offered. “How was all this done?”, the banker asked himself.
The banker did not understand that the old farmer had learned to generate the currency of the universe. The old farmer, when he found himself in possession of this kind of currency, didn’t consider the paper bills with numbers on them to be very attractive at all.
The currency of the universe is really the only type of currency that exists in life. The paper bills with numbers on them are only truly useful if they motivate us to ultimately generate the universal currency: goods and services that meet the needs of others, rendered willingly, and the working relationships needed to create them. All life uses this type of currency. As we have discussed while considering the vast communities of tens of trillions of cells in our body, they use this currency to transact the business of life. And wouldn’t you know it, so do we all.