SEX, DEATH, RELIGION and CELEBRATION. . . .
My friend, Kate, was mugged and raped in the vestibule of her New York City condo— then shot in the heart. The doorman was off that day. She’s an heiress from a wealthy family, lives in a good building. She managed to drag herself downstairs to the super’s apartment. He caught her as she collapsed while his wife called the ambulance. Kate survived the attack, being of hearty stock and stout heart (both physically and emotionally).
Here’s the interesting part: after recovering, her response to the attack was an intense desire to do something about the desperation of black youth in New York. She joined an organization in Harlem dedicated to providing services and education for kids likely to become raping muggers. . . her job, appropriate to her background and education, to raise funds, but from a specific group, well-heeled African Americans. She knew she wanted to break down some of the barriers between herself and the group, also to create greater intimacy within the members of the group she was working with. Her first idea was to have everyone line up in order of
darkness of skin: from lightest— she’s so white one of her childhood nicknames was “neon”— to the blackest. Surprisingly enough, everyone was cool with that, and it worked. There was some joking around; she told the story of being called “neon,” and all lined up.
Her next idea was to have everyone line up in order of how much money they had. This seemed like a good idea to her because her job wasn’t to solicit contributions from these folks, but to create a group of wealthy African American fund-raisers. . . people who could and would shake the money trees and who knew which trees to shake. But no one wanted to line up based on their wealth. Surprise, surprise. First they had to discuss what she meant— was it salary, present income, or total worth? A lively discussion followed, total worth finally being agreed on. Then it got sticky, but finally a line was formed. All of these people were there for the same reason Kate was. . . they were committed to doing something for at-risk black youth, and if it meant spilling the beans about how much money they had, the great taboo. . . greater even then talk of sex, death, politics or religion, they would do it.
Kate said to me that when she found herself in the middle of the line this time, she was shocked. . . “there were black people with much more money than me!” Being a well-educated liberal, she was shocked by her own shock.
Remember the Personal Money Inventory on an earlier blog?. . . if you didn’t see it, or didn’t fill it out. . . go back and look at it, “It’s Time to Talk About Money.”
Please answer questions number 1 and number 6 before you continue. (here’s a funny thing— I just realized I hadn’t paid a credit card bill, so I stopped and rushed around finding it, wrote a check, and got it out to the box to be picked up today. . . hate to pay late fees on credit cards.)
It’s a week later now— I got distracted— and too late to continue this. . . anyway it’s the Fourth of July and I want to celebrate the Swiss scientists who have isolated the Higgs Particle! This is better than $$$$$! This is the potential for unlimited free energy to be available to anyone anywhere in the world whenever they need or want it! This is also called the God Particle!— the tiny tiny little thing that makes everything else, also called the Secret Force of the Universe, and it’s not so secret anymore.
May this force be with you and with all of us on this beautiful day, not a day like all days, but a day like the day Guttenberg started moving letters around, or when dear dead Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (who was on Dancing With the Stars last year, and couldn’t dance at all, but was sure happy & cute), started fooling around in that garage in 1976. . . today is a Whole New World Day— an eventual INDEPENDENCE from destructive energy sources and from those who control them day! Whoopee! Let the bands play and the fireworks fill the sky with glorious light.
WE REALLY have SOMETHING to CELEBRATE!
(forgot this. . . a good answer for number 1 & 6 on Personal Money Inventory is “unlimited,” which also syncs up nicely with the Higgs particle thing, doesn’t it? So I didn’t wander off after all.)
Here are questions number 1 & 6 for those of you who didn’t feel like going to my earlier blog to look at them:
1.What is the right amount of money to have? $____________income $__________savings $__________investment $__________ other.
6. How much money are you willing to have? $____________income $__________savings $__________investment $__________ other.