Thursday, May 10, 2007


We used to speak of federal budgets in terms of millions. Now its billions. Corporations used to take profits in the millions. Now its billions. Because the number is being thrown around a lot, it is easy to become numb to the immensity of how much money a billion dollars really is. Did you know it would take almost 32 years to spend a billion dollars if you spent one dollar per second, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 32 Years! A billion dollars is an utterly mind boggling amount of money.

Right now we are spending billions and billions of dollars on war in Iraq while many people in America are living in poverty. Countless Americans are one hospital visit away from bankruptcy because they can’t afford health insurance. I know. I just had a $44,000 dollar hospital bill.

Just think of all the good we could do to improve the quality of life in this country with the money that is now going to weapon manufacturers. Just dream a little while of the innovative educational programs for our children, of social services including medical care and affordable housing to help the poor, of improvements to city public transportation and city beautification, of help to small-scale, organic farming that enhances soil health. Think of how quickly we might have major breakthroughs in clean energy sources if a billion dollars was put into research. What if a billion dollars worth of grants were given to artists who have a vision to beautify their communities through public art that lifts the human spirit and creates atmospheres of hope, Love and happiness?

What if the policy of American politics was to create a country where life is so good that other countries would want to emulate us in our wisdom and compassion, in our creative ingenuity and commitment to quality of life for all—now and for generations to come?

Each of us makes a difference. Much more powerful than a political vote is a value vote. What I mean by value vote is you deciding to hold, talk about and work towards values for the common good of all, values that enhance the greater good of the earth. When we enthusiastically hold the right values we automatically become part of the answer.