A scrabble letter holder. Scrabble letters spell value and others are spread arou
Photo Courtesy of The Blue Diamond Group.

How should we measure “value”? Is how we measure that term holding us back? 

 Humans operate on ideas, and those ideas can either free us or entrap us. The biggest entrapment has to be how we barter for goods and services. “Value” is an idea of importance that we have created and perpetuated throughout the world. We were taught not to covet what our neighbor has and to produce goods of our own accord. But the way we “value” things has entrapped our minds and guides our animal nature to commit despicable acts. 

 How we survive is based on an artificial concept of metrics, like money. Many cannot think outside of making someone meaninglessly wealthy, all because we’ve bought in to a system created by other humans. So, what makes currency valuable? Our conditioning. 

 We claim morals that are invisible but have limited those morals with our artificial values: the all powerful metric of money. The result is a common  excuse not to do anything. Someone recently said to me that we don’t have the housing resources to solve poverty. But poverty only exists because of this unchecked system of barter that has denigrated the skills and sharing power of the masses. No wonder that in some communities the ceiling is a certain level of public assistance. The barter system has locked them out of abundance despite it being all around them. 

 We brag about how we look, how much our clothes and home cost. We say “you can’t get it, so shut up and work harder” when there is no incentive to supply that person’s level of work with currency. It’s society’s subtle way of being violent and animal-like where those who have no “value” are eaten. In the animal kingdom, the “value” of the eaten is elevated because the eater needs to survive. But our animal nature displayed this way causes severe diversions of races and class.   

  With so many ways to be violent to someone, how can we call ourselves peaceful? We cannot until we understand and implement equal bartering rights and equal currency. A dollar is no more valuable than anything else; we have made it that way. Our only recourse is to change our minds about “value” and use a different system to advance ourselves. 

 Reginald Black is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.