Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Widow's Mite

You are declared interest in Nature's bank account.

Dana Bate
Hello Brunei
I knew of a woman who worked at the same job, or the same type of job, her entire life and when she retired she not only collected Social Security, she had a balance in her savings account of $175,000. When she was asked how she had accumulated so much money she gave a two word answer: "Compound Interest."

I have never been able to stock up on any appreciable hoard of funds during my vagabond life. I have no secret stash in a bank tucked into a remote and anonymous city on the edge of an ancient river. I have no numbered Swiss bank account. I have no trillion dollar lottery ticket to cash in when I feel like it. I have a meager saving account in my credit union and yesterday I had to take some of it out because I ran out of money but not out of needs.
I don't like to do that and I certainly don't want to make a habit of it.

But I have another savings account that I make deposits in all the time and hopefully not too many withdrawals. My shoulders are weighed down by the waight of the youngsters standing on them. But they are strengthened by the shoulders I stand on. There is a mystical bond that exists between me and some individual who lived hundreds of years ago, someone I've never heard of.

Once upon a time a man or a woman did something positive and progressive for the world, and as a result my life, in some small way, is easier. At another time someone did something magnanimous for humanity and my life is benefiting from it in grand ways. I am living interest in the account to which those people contributed in their lives. People who did not enjoy the freedom I have dreamt about it, spoke and wrote about it even, often, at the risk of their lives. Those who did not have the knowledge I have questioned old ideas, investigated and made discoveries which became part of the great account. What do we owe those people? Just to enjoy what they left for us and to make sure the account grows for the people who follow us.

My life could be better. Whose couldn't be? The reason it isn't is because there have always been those who contributed nothing to the savings but instead just withdrew from the account. The regressive, negative, nihilistic, backward thinking and backward moving, frightened and squeamish wasters of the great accomplishments of the past and previous generators, have dipped too much and too often into Nature's bank account. Even so it has not been depleted, though one might think that is what the plunderers want.

Sweeping things under the carpet does not clean the room, erasing a problem does not solve it, laws do not create ethical behavior. Unlike the negativists, those who pull down, those who withdraw from Nature's bank to discard the gains, the future must be considered. A decision has certain results. Logic demands them. Reason will reveal them.

Every positive step forward, even a halting, stumbling, uncertain one deposits value in the bank amd interest will accrue. Every act of kindness, charity, tolerance, cleaning, improvement, invention, design, completion, inspiration, discovery, no matter how small, is an investment in the future. Even the slightest sliver of advanced thinking and doing will brighten the life of someone years from now who has never heard of you. The mite of value you place in the world's cup will grow and interest will be declared.

DB - The Vagabond
One day puzzle,

"Every Jefferson, Nixon and Truman. Or,
Every ----------. ------------- and -------------.= Tom, Dick and Harry.

Geo was the one to break the tape, soon followed by Sue.
Those were the only contestants. What's the matter with you people?
One day puzzle,
How many "f"s are there in the following statement.

The first of the few faces
you see if you look carefully
will be of a famous father.


(This is not a contest)

NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?

4 answers so far

I eagerly await your answer.



Ally Lifewithally said...

As always a really interesting entry ~ Allyx

Big Mark 243 said...

I am agreeing with Ally... a bit wistful, perhaps. I would set Sinatra's 'My Way' to this entry.

natalie said...

dear DB,
nice postis..great stances...
umm 9?
Come and visit!

natalie said...

I meant posits

Anonymous said...


great post. we must all contribute to the bank account so that we are helping ourselves and others. Everything we do either contributes to the good of others or the bad. Even indifference has an effect on others. And what we do now even has an effect on what will happen in the years to come -- including after we pass -- because everything we do has an effect. We are either adding to the bank account or subtracting from it. For instance, if one is not a "good" parent, and doesn't pass on good values and a good example to his children, then the child may have problems and act likewise. So everything we do matters. Just a thought.

thanks for a very thoughtful and insightful post, db.

krissy knox :)
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