It’s an easily by-passed scene in the movie “Billy Madison.” After making his way through a second chance at elementary and middle school, Billy finally gets the opportunity to return to high school. In a matter of seconds, he sees that the things that used to carry weight don’t anymore. His REO Speedwagon T-shirt and Pontiac Firebird are not only worthless, they’re mock-worthy. When we think of currency, money is the first thing that jumps to mind. However there are so many other currencies and just like dollars, their value changes or ceases to exist. What are we supposed to do when the currencies that we hold so dear leave us bankrupt? It’s probably going to happen a lot soon!
So let’s consider a currency that loses it’s value almost instantaneously after it was SO important for 12-20 years: grades. Eventually, they become worthless. Especially when broken down into the smallest component pieces. No one cares about the vocabulary quiz that you took in middle school. However, they do care whether you speak intelligently or at least intelligibly. The value of the moment is put on the grade but it is truly the knowledge that has potential power but even it must be put into use. Like a seed that never finds the soil, it can also lay dormant and inert. So in this time of rapid change, disruption and uncertainty; how does one know where to invest their time and effort? If so many of our classic currencies are under scrutiny or attack, then what has value?
There is no way that I can answer that for everyone but the elemental, universal and transferable feel right. Going back to the world of money, gold tends to be valued everywhere. It may not be the best thing to own but it is elemental, universal and transferable. For each of us, we must do the introspection into our own assets. Perhaps that degree is not worth what it used to be but calligraphy skills that you possess are. Money is nothing more than a promissory note. Lots of the old promises are being broken by a wave of innovation. There is most likely no way to out compute a computer but for now, it is still possible to out human a computer. You have value saved up in the bones and brains that carry you through this world. Use them! Possibly in new ways that you never anticipated. Your money’s no good here but we’ll gladly take the seeds of greatness that you have in your back pocket.
It’s spring! Plant if you haven’t already!