Imagine there is a village of 100 people. In this village, these 100 people have 100 different trades they practice, one is a carpenter, another is a shepherd, the other is a fisher, another is a farmer, and another yet is a stone cutter. All 100 people have their God given talents.
Now, in this village everyone is interdependent, the farmer grows vegetables and fruits and feeds the carpenter, in return the carpenter builds the barns that the farmer uses to store grains, the carpenter eats from the flock of the shepherd, the stone cutter talents provides sturdy houses for others in return he is provided for by the talents of others.
In this paradigm, hoarding is unnecessary, what good does it do you to hoard corn or stones? Besides, when you live in a community where your talents feed other people and in return you are fed by the talents of others, there is a synergy that is created where selfishness is mitigated because your well-being depends on the well-being of others. If the stone cutter suffers, the whole of the community suffers and likewise if the farmer stumbles. The collective whole is more important than the individual, but the individual still is able to pursue his passion and purpose.
What interrupts this paradigm and induces selfishness in a community that could otherwise live in harmony is money. When money is introduced, all the sudden the incentive is not the collective whole but individual pursuits alone. The community gets inverted, all the sudden the farmer is not worried about feeding the community; he is worried about accumulating money. The stone cutter cares little whether his talents are being used to house people, instead he cares only that he builds houses in order to collect more money.
Money separates us from harmony with nature, it is the very opposite of nature. Instead of living within a community, we commute to work chasing paychecks as we collect more headaches. We get splintered as a community, a village of neighbors living as strangers. Our God given talent is then inverted into chasing talents, the former of which is our blessing and the latter of which becomes an abomination.
Talent actually has two meanings, a talent as in our aptitude, the gift we are given. Or talent in another context is money, an old system of capital that assigned value based on weights of gold and silver during biblical times. So a village of people who could use their God given talent to feed each other instead chase talent in order to feed the system. And all the while we think we are advancing as a society even though more and more end up isolated and depressed.
We make advancements in medicine but we are only curing the very disease that our unnatural lives are giving birth to. We take leaps and bounds in technology but with each iterative technology we bury ourselves into isolation to the point where we use social media to feed our desire to socialize as we ignore the society around us.
All the while, the ever beating yearning is within us to reconnect to the way nature intended us to be. I humbly submit to you the problem is the very essence of money. This is why education is nothing more than indoctrination, they are not teaching us to be independent—they are teaching us to be slaves to the system.
Careers, materialism, paychecks, debt, we think we are chasing freedom as we keep chaining ourselves into the bondage of others. Instead of villages feeding each other, we are thus feeding on each other because the very essence of capitalism demands scarcity in a world full of abundance. All this nonsense, chasing the dreams of others while living in our nightmares would be erased if we lived as a community of interdependence instead of being a village of fools pursuing pursuits that lead nowhere.
I guess the moral of this missive is simple: when you exchange passion for pursuits, you nullify purpose of your birth and worse turn yourself into a slave of the system.
But we adapt to the system before us; until the paradigm changes we do what we can to be connected to one another. So let me use this space and my talents to lift up others who yearn to make a difference. One of the things I want to focus on at Ghion Journal is empowering unknown givers and thinkers who are working hard to lift up people within their community.
These people I’m alluding to can range from entrepreneurs to artists to social workers, people who have in their hearts a spirit of giving and who want to change the world through equal parts audacious aspirations and diligent perspiration.
So I’m turning to you, Ghion readers and fellow thinkers, to nominate these overlooked jewels and diamonds who toil in the shadows unnoticed by a media and the masses who prefer to gaze at outrage and sensationalism.
So once a week I will run a feature story on the “Dust to Diamonds”, folk who are using their God given talent to lift up others with their gifts. I’m hoping to lift up these people using my talent for it was others in my past who refused to let me give up on my abilities.
So nominate people in the comment box below who are doing their part to make a difference and tell me about them, give as much information about them and their work. You can comment below by also signing in through Facebook and if you do that, feel free to tag the names of the people you are nominating in the comment box below. You can also nominate people by email email@example.com
And yes, you can also nominate yourself, after all, it’s not bragging if your work proves your words and worth.
So do you have anyone in mind? Comment away below. Redemption is found when we view our talent as treasures and lift up others with our talents instead of chasing talent for the sake a self-centered gains.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.