Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist
Let’s pursue this concept of the intersection a bit more:
We are an integral part of this world of transformation and change. We have inherited this culture and economic system in which we exist and operate. We own our future and have been endowed with the power to personally choose between and amongst the myriads of alternatives that have been and will be presented to us on a daily basis. The choices that we select will, of necessity, set into motion consequences that will affect our lives, the lives of others around us, and even the future options that will be made available to us.
All of those transformational happenings will take place at the intersection of culture and economics. Whether we like it or not, each of us presently stands on the curbside of that intersection. From that position we are able to observe the intriguing and constant flow of traffic moving in front of us through that intersection. We are not, however, just standing on the curbside as disengaged and disinterested observers. We, along with all the others gathered, are highly involved in what passes through that intersection and the results of the continual flow of traffic. Transformation continually takes place and we are a part of it.
If we will observe carefully, we will see that every person standing on the curbside, including ourselves, is carrying a lovely market basket on his or her arm. Everyone has been shopping on the way to the curbside.
Placed inside those baskets are the most important and valuable items in the world. At the marketplace, on the way to the intersection, every person has been hunting, inspecting, and accumulating. The items are so very precious because each person has been actually exchanging a part of himself or herself for the contents collected and placed so very carefully into the lovely market baskets. So, everything collected has either been placed into those personal market baskets as a direct result of a purchase or of a gift exchange.
Since the cultural and economic systems belong to us, ultimately, we are the ones who determine what components pass through the intersection and what is declared as history on the other side. If the contents of those market baskets are powerful enough to alter and direct the flow of history, perhaps it would be important for us to examine just what makes up the contents of those personal and distinct market baskets. Just for fun, let’s see if we can figure out the contents and value of our own personal market basket:
· FINANCIAL POSSESSIONS:
Let’s do this through the equity approach: Take the replacement value of your market basket contents and then subtract any indebtedness: Savings accounts, cash, loans and accounts due you, stocks, bonds, pension plans, equities in businesses, partnerships, home, additional properties, autos, household goods, and other personal properties.
· PERSONAL POSSESSIONS:
Physical possessions of good health, good DNA, attractive characteristics, wholesome attitudes, intellectual possessions, past experiences, education, healthy emotional possessions, good decision making capabilities, temporal, or possessions of time (number of days you have left).
· RELATIONAL POSSESSIONS:
Your family, friends, and your influence on other people and situations.
· SPIRITUAL POSSESSIONS:
You are at peace with yourself, others, and God, kind, self controlled, generous, patient, and forgiving to your family and others, a life characterized by a deep sense of joy, consistency, gratefulness, a non-complaining attitude, and dependable.
· SPECIAL POSSESSIONS:
In addition to the other possessions in your market basket, God has given to you some special abilities. It is true, you may have refined them and put a lot of work and discipline into developing them, but you realize that they are special possessions given to you by a discerning God. List those special abilities that you feel are your strongest talents.
All individuals are standing on the curbside of the intersection of culture and economics. It is almost unfathomable when trying to comprehend the variety and value of the possessions that are held in the market baskets of those individuals. With those possessions, the individuals standing there have the power and opportunity to ultimately determine what happens at that intersection.
History will be determined by what those individuals will collectively decide to inject into that flow of traffic passing through the intersection. What will they be willing to take out of their market baskets and invest into the process of making history? What will they do to advance the procedure of resolution? What will they be willing to do to unsnarl the traffic and advance the proceeding of history?
All persons on the curbside face the same leveling question concerning the use of the possessions within their individual market baskets . . . What’cha Gonna Do With What’cha Got?
By injecting the possessions from their market baskets into the traffic flow of the intersection, they influence the direction, timing, and outcome of the flow of traffic and thereby determine history. The comprehensive and penetrating question becomes very personal . . . What’cha Gonna Do With What’cha Got?
Next Week: Curbside Capacities
(Research ideas from Dr. Jackson’s new writing project on Cultural Economics)
Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."
As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson.