We have been conditioned to think of acting on things, rather than in tandem with
things. We ignore the ways we continually adjust our response to the difference which
makes a difference in all the activities of our lives including making bread, in playing a
game of chess, in a conversation with others, in passing another car, in supporting the
clear-cutting of an old growth forest, in driving a car that puts 8,320 pounds of carbon
dioxide into the atmosphere, and so forth. These examples of relationships encompass
both cultural and natural ecologies. There is no escaping from them. The question is
whether we can become aware of the historical influences that limit our awareness. Also,
can we become aware of the ecological destructiveness of the old conceptual/cultural
maps that represent individuals as rational and autonomous, and who act on the external
animate and inanimate worlds?
The reality is that we all adjust our thoughts and behaviors to the differences that
our language and personal sense of awareness enable us to recognize as we interact in the
complex ecologies that are an inescapable aspect of daily life.
The metaphorical nature of language brought to light the many ways that the use
of the term, “money” can be teased out to imagine new ways of engendering currency.
For example, in the community of Pittsboro, North Carolina, a rural town of nearly 4,000
people and the county seat of Chatham County, a group of citizens launched the
Piedmont Local EcoNomy Tender, or the “PLENTY.” Under the organization of the
Plenty Currency Cooperative, they printed out a form of currency that supported the local
economy on three levels. PLENTYs are currently being used in all local businesses in an
effort to safeguard local jobs and make small-scale production of goods and services
viable, to reduce dependency on large chain stores and distribute wealth more evenly
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