The Day Human Beings Woke Up in a World Where Wealth Had a Different Meaning
by Francisco Gomes de Matos, a peace linguist and human rights educator from Recife, Brazil
Text originally written for the website of the Center for Global Non-Killing.
Human beings were used to the concept of wealth as “abundance of money,property,or material possessions”. One day, in a not-too-distant future, humanking woke up and – surprise of surprises ! – saw a big sign which in all languages said: You you entering a deeply humanizing world. What could that mean ? human beings asked one another.After entering that seemingly mysterious,magic,multilingual environment,they were taken to a huge, garden,where they could sit side by side with beautiful vegetation and an abundance of flowers.Suddently,a voice could be heard (in all languages) that greeted the audience this way:
Welcome to a different world. A deeply humanizing world.This is the land where wealth is given a new, transformative meaning. In Human history,that concept meant an abundance of valuable material possessions;the state of being rich. It capitalized on “economic value”.Now,in this new,deeply humanizing world, wealth means a life-supporting,life-sustaining,life-promoting,life-protecting mode or state of co-being, of sharing the Earth as committed planetary citizens . That explanation proved not to be sufficiently clear to many human beings, who asked for further clarification.To comply with their request,the voice of that invisible being added: Let me provide some concrete examples, so you can understand right away:
In this new,humanizing world, a long list of concepts-terms used throughout human history will never be heard, seen,or used (except in a Museum of Economic History):
bankruptcy,bribery,capitalism,cartel,consumerism,corruption,debtor governments,debt cancellation, destitution(extreme poverty),embezzlement,forgery(fraud),haves and have-nots,inflation,Inernational Monetary Fund, lottery,market economy,purchasing power. Deplorable human economic actions-attitudes which stained History would not be found or experienced in this world :wanting to possess more than one needs (greed),having an intense desire for wealth(avarice),reducing persons, groups,communities to poverty (impoverishment), cheating or defrauding for money or property(swindling).
On hearing that,some in the audience asked :what can we use here, instead of wealth? The voice promptly replied:health. In this world, we speak of the good health of Humankind,of animals,of Nature.And the voice went on to say:
Let me provide another list,this time, made up of items beginning with Here,no….:
Here, there is no such distinction as between haves and havenots.All human beings share the same rights, among which equality,liberty,dignity, All of Humankind have a place to live.They have access to free water and food (all countries have an abundance of fruits and vegetables).co-eb Here,there are neither rich people nor poor people.All human beings are considered as equals in rights and responsibilities.In such spirit,here there are no debtors and no creditors.Similarly, there are no buyers or sellers,since Life-supporting and Life-sustaining depend on a different type of Ethics,in which non-monetary values are given primacy.Thanks to this Life-affirming way of co-being, human beings co-build new roles in their communities.Instead of being maximizers(adjusting their habits by spending so as to make the best use of their money),in this world they are dignifiers, respecting one another,respecting animals and interacting harmoniously with Nature. Before showing human beings their destinations,the invisible being said: By living in this world,your peace of mind will always take precedence over material possessions. You will often medidate in gardens created for spiritual contemplation.
Your education –and that of your children and grandchildren –will provide opportunities for learning in depth about such TRANSformative concepts as Nonkilling and Global Communicative Peace (in all languages and other systems of creative expression). So,you see,what used to be known as a globalized economic system, is now experienced as a way of caring for the health of every person,every group, every community,every nation.The change from wealth to health is much deeper than a substitution of the initial sound-letter, in English,for instance.It will always imply cultivating a sound(er)body and mind,a state of well-being.This new, deeply humanizing world will be an environment for co-being,for taking on the most frormidable challenge facing Humankind: loving one another MORE than oneself, thus living up in depth one of the most urgently needed transformations in human existence.
And as human beings reached their destinations,they were embraced by a friendly sun whose rays were accompanied by the magnificent sounds emitted by all animals on Earth. And Humankind could enjoy a deeply humanizing health from now on.