"Outrageous Acts with Money." Sounds titillating, doesn't it? Does the title conjure up images of the ultra-wealthy pampering themselves beyond your wildest imagination? Of everyday heroes using their nickels for inspiring acts of bravery or kindness?
Yes, you'll find some stories like these within this issue--tales of outrageous greed, defiance, playfulness, and generosity. However, we chose this topic for More than Money not to be sensationalist, but to encourage all of us to defy the limits of how we relate to money, when doing so brings greater integrity and freedom into our lives.
After all, what is outrageous? It's something that steps beyond the commonplace or violates the acceptable. While outrageousness is obviously in the eye of the beholder (for example, what seems like an absurdly vast amount to one person seems piddling to another) most of us were taught certain norms about "correct" dealings with money. The stories that follow offer colorful examples of people taking risks to break through their own normal behavior.
The dictionary defines outrageous as "offending our moral sensibilities", and we include a few examples of this, too. When outrageous acts are motivated by greed, addiction, or a dehumanizing loss of perspective, they help us remember that social norms sometimes set useful standards for decency and caring. Although the stories are about individuals, they illustrate how larger social and economic systems have gone awry.
We also highlight stories of some outrageous pioneers that are innovating healthier economic institutions . When norm-breaking acts are motivated by courage, delight, and love, they remind us that our constraints are more often imagined than real, bred of unnecessary fear and habit. When we act in consonance with our values we will undoubtedly appear outrageous to many. However, if we persist, what started off as strange and new can become integrated into our own lives and profoundly affect others.
We offer this issue of More than Money as encouragement to use money more creatively as a tool to express your love--of those you are closest to and of the greater human family. .
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