“…A small spark can set an entire jungle ablaze.”
So we just got home from a trip to Costa Rica for our tenth anniversary. Marvelous. It was a great time away. On the way down the aircraft jetbridge departing from Toronto to San Jose we noticed a new HSBC poster with a picture of a woman sitting on her living room couch with the caption, “1.6 billion dollars hiding in couches.” Spare change.
Change that we clearly can spare. Lost in the pillows and springs of furniture from around the globe. It’s what Hernando DeSoto in the Mystery of Capital might call money that’s part of an extra-legal economy. Not accounted for and doing nothing. Idle capital. No power to do this or that. It’s not invested anywhere and lacking the power of fiscal leverage. It’s a serious economic problem for people living in the majority world that has serious implications for economic growth, ending extreme poverty and a relevant metaphor for all of us here in the Global North. For us this is about possibility. It’s about what’s next. It’s about digging a little deeper into our couches and maybe even into our souls to empower us a little more. Relational investing in social change, relevant action, or responsibility to the other.
What about the spare change in bottles, shoe boxes and coin collections? Maybe another two billion? Another example of untapped potential. Stagnant, corroding and collecting dust.
How many times have you walked over pennies or coins on the ground because you just couldn’t bother or felt “funny” for stooping down to pick them up. What good are pennies for? We’ve all done it. Too bothered? It all adds up and it’s about time we take another look at how we can make a difference. It’s not always about the money.
Potential for growth?
Potential for change and for something or someone other?
What do you see?
Check your couch. Empty your jars. See if you can learn more about how to get involved in making this world a better place. A little education about a particular issue, some guided advocacy about a pressing local or global problem, relevant context and a healthy sense of realism can alter your world view and also change the world.
I know I have some to spare.