Money Trail

Digital collage, copyright, Sara Deutsch. YENOM*---An Economic Parable by Sara Deutsch, '96 Once upon a time play and work were the same. People did what they loved to do and gave freely to their neighbors of their talents and energy. Everyone prospered. A woman who loved to make bread, baked many loaves at the same time and gave one to each of her neighbors. A man who was good at fixing things went from house to house repairing things for everyone in the village. Another who loved to sew, created bright colored garments for everyone. The village was like a big family with each member doing what they choose and getting what they needed in exchange. But then it happened that someone dug up bright glowing stones that were so beautiful that everybody wanted some. They called it yenom. So the villagers began baking bread, fixing things, sewing--in exchange for yenom. And then they would trade yenom for what they wanted. Instead of continuing to live simply in the present like the plants, birds.and animals who relied on the natural flow of energy and give-and-take in nature, the villagers began to store and hoard a supply of yenom. Now life became more complicated and it was necessary to store the yenom and print paper that stood for it and account for yenom that was borrowed and lent. And now people began to do things for yenom they did not freely choose to do. Work separated from play. Doing boring, unpleasant and meaningless things earned more yenom than doing fun, imaginative, creative and playful things. So people began to choose between work and play. Those who choose to follow their hearts and create and play had fun but very little yenom. Those who worked earned great stores of yenom and had beautiful dwellings and possessions but lost touch with joy and purpose and had little time to appreciate what they earned. People built great buildings and institutions based on the exchange of yenom. Some starved because they did not have yenom while others had too much. Bad times came and no more yenom could be found anywhere. All digging stopped. Some say the rich hoarded it and since there was no more they would not share it. Because there was no more yenom there were no more jobs because what could reward work if there was no yenom? Everything stopped. People were hungry, bored, unfulfilled and miserable, all because there was no more yenom. But then a surprising thing happened. A woman who liked to bake had enough flour to bake a dozen loaves of bread. She kept one loaf and gave 11 loaves to her neighbors. Each neighbor was delighted and gave her something in return. She got back tomatoes, blueberry preserves, gardening help, firewood, a hand-me-down sweater, babysitting, a massage and other useful gifts. The idea spread wildly. Instead of being poor and bored, each person began to do what they loved for someone who needed it. Each who received offered something they loved to make or do in return. More and more energy was mobilized because people who were getting the attention and nurturing they needed had more energy to give! They began to realize they did not need yenom to live! Yenom was just a substitute for energy. And energy 'is something that we all have to exchange! *Spell it backwards

2 Comments

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Deborah Martin 30 Nov 2005

Brilliant Story and yennom spelt backwards is a simple and great idea! Excellent Artwork............Indeed.....following ones' Heart is a challenging path in this life!!! I love your happy ending...... Life is really a challenge for people to find a ballance in living creatively and managing our practical lives........

Artist Reply: Thanks for discovering and appreciating the Yenom story...

nichole carlino 22 Jan 2004

i love your ideas