In Numerology, 9 is the number of completion. Indeed, it finishes out the succession of single digits before adding another and completes every series after. While I know there are many who wish this ninth month would bring this year to an end, for me, it really feels like life has come full circle and a new journey is beginning.
Nine years ago, I set out to live for a year without the use of money in the hopes that I would be able to recognize some greater wealth, both in myself and the world around me. In some regards, since I had never been all that good at managing money, I was looking for an existence where I could just be appreciated for my other merits. Although I knew that it could have just been a big ego trip, and may still be (after all, isn’t that what a human life is?), I just wanted to be valued for being Steve and not the money I could sell myself for.
While my “year without money” wasn’t necessarily as successful a venture as I would have hoped, 9 years later, I find myself feeling quite accomplished in reaching the goal of the actual endeavor. Since setting out on my path, and starting to use money again, it’s been quite an adventure, and at the end of it, and at the beginning of another, I really do feel valued. Besides being given the opportunity to live in an incredible environment for education and inspiration without having to pay rent, looking back over the body of work I’ve created in less than a decade, I actually feel of value myself… and perhaps that was the entire point of the journey.
For instance, my new home puts me on Whitaker Bayou, named after William Whitaker, Sarasota’s first white settler, whom I played in the film No Real Than You Are in 2012. I live one block away from, John Hoover, the mandolin player who joined me and the Wandering Soul Band for the Leap Day Hootenanny, our last show before the pandemic, and who just recorded his part for my upcoming song/video “Dear Mona Lisa”, the 29th of the songs I’ve written (19 of them were written in the last 9 years). Although writing my book Money, Sex, Power & Faith gave me a great education on the last 10,000 years of history, my current home comes with a library of books, audiobooks, and DVDs on economics, ecology, creativity, and philosophy, providing me with just the information I need to finish my next book on ABC Squared Economics.
Since arriving here last month, between the physical library and audiobooks through my phone, I’ve finished or am currently making my way through Eco-Economy by Lester Brown, The Soul of Capitalism by William Greider, Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Commanding Heights: The Battle For The World Economy DVD series, Economics In One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt, A Call For Revolution by the Dalai Lama, The Creative Thinker’s Toolkit, part of “The Great Courses” series, of which I have access to many, and The Beautiful Ones, the book that Prince was working on when he died. If nothing else, I’m getting quite an education, and I’ve barely cracked the surface.
When I started my endeavor, it wasn’t that I truly wanted a world without money; I just wanted to embrace the life beyond it. I was grateful for the opportunity to use my unique proclivities to serve the world in some way, and I think that the gratitude which has endured has been a big part of life embracing me the way that it has. Now, I think I want to become a millionaire and experiment with using money the way that I think it should be used.
It’s going to be an interesting 9 years.