Connecting Capital to Meaning

I talk a lot about driving capital flows (money) toward the things people value most — community mostly, but also family, education, and love.

Much like Diane (in the video above), I talk a lot about driving capital flows (money) toward the things people value most — community mostly, but also family, education, and love. It’s a simple concept. But our world is currently set up to drive capital flows toward more money. Implicit in the system is that more money will bring us a world that is more valuable — it will bring us more of what we most value. But many people find that it doesn’t work that way once our basic needs for food, shelter and healthcare are met. Does making more money create more value? This is the experiment our world is currently running.

What if we didn’t measure our wealth in money? What if we measured wealth as the number of mountains we’ve climbed, the number of books we’ve read, or the depth of the friendships we have? What would we do with our money then?

I grew up in a family that everyone thought had lots of money. But we didn’t. We had my Dad’s income as a history professor at the University of Connecticut. That’s it. No trust funds, no second income, not even summer work for Dad. Folks thought we were rich because we traveled to exotic places, we had dinner parties, and our house was full of antiques and books. My family thought wealth was measured in learning and experience and friendships. So all their money was carefully spent on those things. Not on a new car or a TV or fancy stuff for the kitchen. Not on clothes or trips to Disneyland. We camped and traveled third class and ate pasta. This is what we valued most, and so it became our definition of wealth.

Connected capital — connecting our money with the things we value most — is popping up everywhere. People like Diane are using their money to make their lives more rich and meaningful. Even people without much money of their own to invest meaningfully can make a meaningful impact: students all around the world are demanding that institutions start to invest meaningfully. There’s a great divestment movement going on with even conservative organizations like the Rockefeller Foundation taking their money out of investments that hurt our world. I’d like to think about what the opportunities for Investment are? What are the wonderful things the Rockefeller Foundation can invest in? What are the wonderful things you can make happen with your money?

Rachel Maxwell

Author: Rachel Maxwell

Rachel is co-founder and CEO of Community Sourced Capital. She loves connecting community and finance in new ways.

1 thought on “Connecting Capital to Meaning”

  1. Good morning, Rachel,
    I wanted to let you know that this blog post meant a lot to me. I grew up in a home that valued experiences over all else too. My dad worked for minimum wage at a metal fabrications factory for most of my childhood and my mom stayed at home until I was in high school and she began teaching, yet all my friends thought we were rich because we were constantly going on trips and we had a lovely home in which we ate meals together daily. And I think as I get older I realize we really were/are rich. And this blog post underlined that.

    I shared it with my mom when I first read it and she told me a couple weeks ago that she has since passed it on to several friends and it’s sparked an interesting conversation about wealth v money. Thanks for the inspiration.

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