What We Hold in Our Hands
Commentary, Editorial Page, Island Voices

What We Hold in Our Hands

Money. Hold-in-your-hand coins. Pull-out-of-your-wallet cash. Circles of metal that last decades, centuries and millennia … matter.

Not only are coins “literally” matter, but they offer an experience, a record of human society, an imprint on our lives and tactile memories that no electricity-dependent, Virtual Reality method of accounting or digital currency can offer.

A child, a teenager, a young adult, and an elder have a far deeper understanding of having “spent money” when they count it out and hand it over – reducing the tendency toward wastefulness, over-spending or debt creation.

Digital currency doesn’t mesh well with our ancient “cave man or cave woman” instincts, just as babies need to be held, and raw whole foods are more nourishing than packaged energy bars. We are living beings, we are animals, and the “material world” far surpasses computerized fantasyland.

These coins laid out in front of me are not that old, but one was minted the year I was born (I just turned 50) and it’s in gorgeous shape. Another is from before my birth. Another is from two years before I graduated high school … and so on. What digital money comes with a “brought into existence with a keystroke” date, feeling, or other tie to our history? Our past?

Now, look at the half-dollar, flipped over. Look at the language little kids, children, teens, and adults saw every time they counted out change to buy something at the store…E. Pluribus Unum, Liberty, United States of America.

The money makes it clear that we are a society standing united in the clear light of liberty, arm in arm, as a goal – even if not yet perfectly realized.

What do you see, read, think of, or are reminded of when you tap your corporate credit card or insert a bank’s debit card into a device?

Nothing. Because it isn’t real. And a world build on “nothing” and “a virtual version of reality” will crumble around us with amazing suddenness, for reasons far beyond our understanding & of the common sense variety.

I’m using cash whenever possible.

How about you?

October 27, 2022

About Author

March Twisdale

march March Twisdale has called Vashon Island home for nearly twenty years. A lifelong advocate of independent thought, March believes there are as many right choices as there are people in the world. She looks forward to bringing inspiring content to Vashon Loop readers, as she's done for eight years with her radio show - Prose, Poetry & Purpose. Find her on Substack.com by searching "Our Thoughts Matter."