Recently I heard a talking head speak of ‘Ritual Banking’. Mostly they seemed to be alluding to the fact that we don’t actually use ‘money’ anymore, we use numbers in the cloud. This is quite true.
However, Ritual Banking is a bureaucratic phenomena that what we haven’t really accepted. What this really means is that it’s still an illusive butterfly. As fast paced as money transactions are, whether on the stock exchange or the seven seconds it takes for your credit card transaction to zoom from the merchant, through the jungle of the web to your bank and back, we are slow to see the changes in money.
For centuries there was the ‘Gold Standard’ which basically meant that a country didn’t print money unless it had the value of it in gold. That’s changed, drastically. Thus the idea that banking has become a ritual. We decide the number has values and exchange numbers more than paper.
Thus “Ritual”: a solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.
Pretty apt description of money, isn’t it?
Money itself has become more ritual than real.
The purpose of my musing is not to get into the big national and international repercussions of that, the macro economics. It is instead to illuminate what it means for us as individuals. How does it affect our lives?
It changes one huge dynamic, that if we could really grasp it we could be much more effective. Since there are not actual limits on how much of the stuff there is, since it’s now numbers rather than gold, or even paper, it means that how much someone else has doesn’t actually limit how much you or I can have. It’s no longer a scarcity based system. That may be messy on a global basis, but it’s good news for our own individual goals.
The thinking that how much the rich have somehow limits how much the rest of us can have really holds us back. While it used to be that a handful of people could somehow acquire all the gold, it is no longer the case that a few can acquire all the money. That old kind of thinking has us succumb to a feeling of futility. Feeling that we might as well not try. We spend time and energy worrying and fussing about how much they have instead of focusing on what we are up to. It’s an amazing yet destructive distraction from being effective with your own money.
So while you may spend time being angry and working for change in many of the ways that the uber wealthy behave, please understand that having them have less won’t actually get you more. It’s not a closed system. It’s not even printed paper anymore, it’s numbers. And numbers are available to everyone.
What might be a Banking or Money Ritual you could create to bring your focus home to you instead of out there on some nebulous “they”?