I have now rounded off a couple of years of studying personal economy, how to get money and how to handle them. I was occasionally afraid of becoming a money-motivated person, but the study was necessary for the simple reason that they don't teach these essential subjects in school. (I am sure that if teachers did teach kids to save up, the teachers would be shot on sight, because the big financial institutions (as well as the short term economic health of the system) depends on spending and an indebted population.)
One thing I have learned is that beyond the basics outlined above (and even those you can find plenty of controversy about), nobody agrees on anything. Just when I thought I had something pinned down, in the next book I read they would say the opposite. What does this mean? It means that you are on your own, buddy. You have to study and decide for yourself what is true.
Furthermore, if you hope to do really well with money, you have to keep at it. You have to know a lot, and you have to know what is going on all the time. Just one example: it has become clear to me that while one might do well investing in individual stocks, it takes a hell of a lot of knowledge and work to do so. And even the experts regularly make huge mistakes. (70% of managed mutual funds do worse than the overall market!) (For the investors that is. The managers have their big fees.)
Honestly, I had hoped to get to a point where I could do well investing without a lot of continued study and worry. But I have not found that point, and I don't think I will. And since 1) I don't have nerves of steel and 2) I really am not very interested in money, I have decided it is not really worth it for me.
The attention I have to put on it has to come from somewhere. And I would rather put that attention on where I like to have it: on production, and on art and philosophy. I suspect even economically that will pay off better for me, not to mention spiritually and emotionally.
Even the best solution I have found in investing, Index Funds, would take my attention. Because when the market as a whole goes down, I would lose money. And while historically it has paid off on an average, there has been periodes where it took many, many years for the money to even come out even. (The 1930s and the 1970s.) And it is just not worth it for me. So I have pulled out and just gone to the best savings account I could find. (And it pays to shop around.) (It should be noted that it appears that such accounts are both more profitable and more trustworthy at the moment here in the UK than they are many other places, like the US. Also I will be looking into high-quality bonds and gilts.)
Even this took a little bit of courage: what if the stocks I didn't buy go up? That is a missed opportunity. There is just no way one can be certain. One has to make a choice. And my choice personally is to make as much money as I can without working more than I like, and live well beneath my means, and put my surplus in the best savings account I can, and forget about it, and concentrate on my work and my life. And also, while I have no scruples being a capitalist (making money from money), I still consider it more interesting to make money from actual production and value, so that is where I will put my attention.
Unless one inherits great wealth, these are issues one simply has to deal with somehow. And how one does it is a personal choice.
Letters to Domai
I was from a small rural town where everyone looked very similar. We were all white folks who rarely got to see what life was like in other places. When I moved the big city and first entered my university residence building with hundreds of other students, I immediately noticed how many persons of different ethnicities were there. There were black students, Asian students, Hispanic students, Indian students and many others. I found I was really enjoying seeing people of so many colors. How dull it is when everyone looks the same. But there was more to be discovered.
On a sunny afternoon in the middle of frosh week, I was marched down to the field with all of the other first year students to participate in the outdoor competitive games. Each residence building had a team, and we were competing for prizes in events that allowed us to get to know each far better. The game that was most memorable of course was called "clothesline". Each team must tie together their team members' own items of clothing to make a long line. The team with the longest line wins. This was going to be a very revealed event since most people were not wearing much in the hot weather.
We all started by taking off shoes and socks, then shirts and shorts. I took notice of many of my female team-mates. Although there were many white girls, I was most interested in those of other ethnicities. There was a Chinese girl named Jing in a pink t-shirt. She had light brown skin that seemed honey-coloured, a beautiful soft face and long glossy black hair. She removed her blue shorts so that the long t-shirt would cover her just below the hips. She had beautiful smooth bare legs. A black girl named Maureen had large, striking dark eyes and a very curvaceous figure. She had removed her green shirt revealing a white bra that held a full bosom. Maria was of Columbian descent. Her long sweeping dark hair reached down to her waist. She had taken off her white shirt so that a lacy pink strapless bra was uncovered. Her stomach was flat and smooth with a very elegant navel piercing. An East Indian girl named Rini was soon clad in nothing but her large purple t-shirt. She had cleverly removed her white bra and panties while still keeping the shirt on. She had brown skin, some charming gold jewellery and a very large chest.
We had tied together every item of clothing taken off so far, but our opponents were still ahead of us. More would need to be removed if we were to have a chance. Myself and the other males were clad only in shorts at this point. We graciously removed them and found ourselves standing in nothing more than our underwear. But still this was insufficient. When it became clear that further uncovering was necessary, the girls realized they would have to get a little bolder. I was surprised at what happened next. I was still quite young and innocent and the idea of undressing in front of a large number of people was an exciting new adventure.
The girls giggled a little as they began lifting off their shirts and unfastening their bras. I observed. I watched Ling discard her pink top. Her body was so long and tall. She bashfully unhooked her black bra and set her small breasts free. They were delicate round hemispheres that came to a point their with large pink nipples. Maureen removed her white bra and I saw a black woman's breasts for the first time. I had been so accustomed to the blonde-saturated media images of nude white women that I had never ever wondered, up until that point, what a black women would look like nude. They were beautifully curved full breasts that stood way out in front of her. The most fascinating thing about them was that the nipples were dark, the colour of coal. I had always assumed everybody's nipples were pink. It was a delightful surprise.
Maria was now topless. Her bare shoulders and collarbones were wonderfully shaped. Her breasts were of medium size and the right nipple sparkled with a silver piercing. Rini discarded her shirt and because she had already removed all underwear, she was now the first one of us to be fully nude from head to toe. This Indian girl did not seem at all shy about showing us everything. She certainly had my attention. Rini had the largest breasts I have ever seen before or since. Like Maureen, she had dark nipples, though they were more of a chestnut brown. Her body curved to a narrow waist and then swept out again into wide hips. Though heavier than some girls, she still had an effeminate hourglass figure. My gaze traveled down past her belly, I looked at how a trail of little hairs thickened into a full, bushy mound of pubic hair. It formed a lovely triangle with sparse little threads on the outskirts and a dark, curly mass in the middle.
We were certainly impressed with her bravery. It inspired myself and the other males to remove our underwear and lengthen the line still more. I was aware that the girls were looking at me, but it was only fair since I was examining them also. There were nude students all over the field now. Our opponents were stripping off every last item they had, so we had to stay competitive. The girls did what they needed to; they slid out of their panties and let their entire bodies feel the open air and sunlight. Maria looked stunning. Her slender legs went on forever. Her smooth, hairless pubic area looked so delicate with its simple cleft. I was delighted when I saw Maureen's exquisite buttocks. They were so perfectly round and the tight cleavage was flawless. When she turned toward me, I could see that her pubic hair was also quite different from a white person. The black strands were woolly in texture. I was quite excited by this discovery. Ling stood nude nearby with her hands on her hips. Her skin was so soft all over. I was amazed at its satiny smoothness. There was one more surprise for me. Her dark black pubic hairs were straight, not curly. I did not realize that Asians had this feature. They were woven into a vertical, black column that contrasted beautifully with her perfect skin.
With every last piece of our clothes tied together, we were victorious. The girls jumped for joy, a sight that I took great pleasure in. Their breasts bounced wildly, set free from all constraint. We enjoyed our few remaining moments of nudity, then we saw to the task of recovering all of the clothes we had shed. I was so glad to be able to see the great variety of female bodies that nature has made. I hope that the popular media will start to put more ethnic women in the spotlight. It would help us to appreciate the diversity in the world.