Friday, April 12, 2013

Money & Life

Photo credit: Jamie Gladden
Just picture it – you've finally scored that date on, and he is everything that you’d thought he’d be (and he said he was). After meeting up and exchanging the necessary pleasantries, he suggests a casual dinner. You agree and are super stoked until he ushers you inside…a McDonald’s. Suddenly, the tiny gap between his teeth becomes a chasm, that pseudo-widow’s peak he was rocking is now clearly male pattern baldness, and the promise of a bright, shiny future together is dashed against the rocks of broken dreams. Funny thing is, you might actually like McDonald’s. In fact, you were craving a juicy Big Mac that very afternoon. Why does the fact that he chose a cheap restaurant suddenly negate that you might be perfect for each other?

The correlation of money and its impact on the day-to-day life of the human race is the subject of a new feature length documentary entitled Money & Life by Katie Teague. In it, Teague strives to bring light to the shadow money casts over our lives and poses the powerful question, “Can our relationship with money be transformed to serve our highest capacities and values?”

It is no surprise that money = power. We live in the age of the Wall Street power broker, the Silicon Valley savant, the tenacious startup and they are all vying for a generous portion of the pie. What we are less cognizant of, however, is how our opinion of money influences our perception of even the most basic of life’s situations. To use the previous example, we perceive the place you take someone to dinner says a lot about how you value them as a potential lover, client, or friend. This is just the point that Wall Street Walks President and CEO Annaline Dinklemann made to Teague after she completed the History of Wall Street walking tour. "If you take them to Delmonico's, they'll think you are serious. If you take them to McDonald's, they'll think you are a joke."
While Dinkelmann's testimony did not personally make the movie, Teague went on to interview countless other experts who all essentially shared her professional opinion. Lynn Twist, who penned The Soul of Money, had this to say:

"We make a dying rather than a living. Dying meaning we do things that we hate, doing things that really extinguish the very life force of who we are, to bring home a paycheck. Because money has gotten more important now, gotten more important than human life." 

The interviews stemmed from a series of questions Teague posed to herself in the wake of the most recent recession. She mulled over the deeper reasons behind the economic downturn and was ultimately shocked by the irrefutable role that money plays in our lives. She wondered how far we had truly fallen as a race and if it would be possible to reconnect to each other and the world we live in. With her arsenal of experts, she attempts to blast apart our perceptions around the current global economy and rebuild it into a healthier more conscientious system. The good news? There is hope.

The Academi of Life is hosting a special screening of Money & Life.
Date:    April 19, 2013
Place:   New York Society for Ethical Culture
           2 West 64th Street, New York, NY 10023
Time:   7 p.m
Price:   $19.00 (Popcorn included) 
Join us for this story about money that will change your life. A dialogue will follow the screening. 'Opportunity lies on the other side of crisis'– Chinese Philosopher

View the trailer here

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