Yesterday the 15th of September was the free money day.
When I heard of it I saw visuals of currency bill flying around. So I figured I needed to know more about it.
The exercise was quite simple it was about handing two bills/coins to absolute strangers and requests the recipient to pass half of it to another stranger. The entire exercise was about raising awareness of our connect to money and bringing in a shift in the conversation of money.
As did this, it was quite interesting, I had to decide the denomination that I wanted, and guess what the choice that I made was the lowest bill available, which brought home the fact that I played safe. I could not find 5 people to give the money away.
The various reactions that came my way was “why me?” one lady told me she found the entire conversation strange, so I cannot be part of the experiment. Some else asked me if the bill was fake. I overheard someone at the bank asking, the lady in the teller if I was off my rockers.
But what was more frightening is my own reluctance to engage with money, either giving or receiving.
Yes I have read Robert Kiyosaki’s rich dad and poor dad, I do understand that money is energy and beyond a certain level it does not really make a difference. I also realized that somewhere from being the representative of energy barter, it has become something to horde, this has impacted environment, livelihood, food and climate and life style over all.
We are talking Farmer suicide loan sealing on one hand and urbanization and building of huge driving lanes at the same breathe. The issue here is the connect with the money.
September 15th is the day when Lehman Brothers the world’s Largest Investment Company filed for bankruptcy so it seems the ideal day to check our conversations with money. Which is why it has been declared the International Freemoney Day.
This experiment of giving money to strangers without strings attached seemed radical. I found that I felt more comfortable giving money to someone who I perceived was from a lower economic slab, but to give it equals was a huge block. And across sections, people got insulted, affronted, suspicious, people who told me that oh! Give it to someone who would need it.
Only one person accepted it with equanimity.
When a colleague of mine, asked me,”ma’m why the story or the explanation, maybe you should have just handed the money with the smile and said this is for you”.
Coming to think of it, why didn’t I do that? It also drove home the point that we have lost the ability to share that is both give and accept with no strings attached.