You got to have hope and a smile – Rest will follow

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“I would rather be dreaming than living,
Living is just too hard to do.
Its chances not choices,
Noises not voices, Day is just to hard to get through.”

These lines made me think how easy it is sometimes to loose hope. But rough times are only there to remind us that we need to change whatever we are doing and get back to the good things to make it a better start and a better life for ourselves. I have changed, in last one year my life has taken several turns and as a person I have developed a lot, learned a lot and found a new me. In this journey I went through different phases – phase when I was giggly, phase when I was calm and happy, phase when I was upset, phase when I was sad and depressed, phase when I had this unknown fear of new things, phase when I found this new courage in me to do stuff which I never thought I could do before. It was amazing how life has changed so much in just one year. Now when I look back and see where I was and where I have come, I can see what all choices I made and what all options I created myself. I would never regret any of it and if given a second chance I don’t think I would like to change any thing either. I am standing in a booth in the airport, about to embark on another adventure this year, thinking how many people I have met and how many lives I have learned about. The roller coaster of emotions have been overwhelming at times and I have been stubborn not to face the truth several times but yet I have come so far and that’s what makes us all who we are. We keep going in this journey of life and things happen but the truth is ‘it shall too pass’ no matter what. Thats’ why it’s very important to keep your head down a little when time is bad and think ‘it shall too pass’ and keep the light shining in your eyes when you know time is little to enjoy the good things that are happening in life. Make choices that comes from your heart and every once in a while try to disconnect yourself from rest of the world and think about who you are and what you would like to do if rest of the world didn’t exist or didn’t matter, those would be few things that would lead you to the light hidden in your subconscious that might be worth discovering.

I am still learning, every day and every moment as some passes me in my sleep and some catches my fancy when I am awake. But this journey is worth enjoying as we don’t have another life to wait for or loose this one to find another one. Things that haven’t happened yet doesn’t exist in this universe, things that have happened are lost on the way, only things that are happening to you are worth thinking about and living those moments in them. Rest all is just a creativity of your mind as not even a single thing other than present is really true. So try not to focus on past too much as it would take away the time you have to relish your present and don’t plan too much for future as that might have nothing to do with your imagination. I don’t say leave everything and chase your dream yet as before that you might have to go on a journey of self discovery and then only you would know what dreams are real and what are just fantasy that you just picked up on the way. As while going through my own self discovery journey I have learned that the dreams that I had when I was a child have changed quiet a lot. I have got a different understanding of the world and more awareness of myself. I would still like to stay in touch with myself and learn more and more about this world and myself and things are changing every moment as I am writing this and as you are reading this. But that’s brings variety in life as change is the only constant and we need to learn to change in order to survive or rather I should say that we should become change and rest will follow.

With hope and smile, welcome every new day. It might be sunny and beautiful someday whereas it might be raining and cloudy some other times (as we have in Sydney these days). But remember ‘this shall too pass’. Life is not hard its just the choices we make some time that lead us to certain difficulty in life. And once we are aware of this then we make an effort to give it a thought before making any choice. I don’t say wait for too long as the opportunity might pass otherwise but don’t get into mad rush and run blindly everywhere. Open your eyes as even if you end up on a difficult path you would be able to figure out a way out.

To all my friends out there in sadness and happiness, in need of a friend or in need of a voice to help them. This might not give you everything you need but this might help you to think few things on your own and find your own path in life.

Regards,

Kavita

Money is a good servant, but a bad master

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The Meaning of Money

The American Federal Reserve System of Federal Reserve Banks is one of the government institutions that attempts to control inflation so that we Americans will continue to accept our money as having value. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, money has three functions:

1. it’s a medium of exchange. We accept coins and currency in return for goods and services.

2. it’s a standard of value. We can use it to determine the value of a good or service.  For example, a computer selling at $2500 has a value 2 1/2 times what one selling at $1000 would have.

3. it’s a store of value. We can save our money and spend it for something we want in the future. [Reference: http://library.thinkquest.org/28718/history.html%5D

The History of Money

The history of money begins around 2500 years ago with the first minting of coinage in about the seventh to sixth century BC. Money is any clearly identifiable object of value that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts within a market or which is legal tender within a country.

Since ancient times people have swapped items of value either in the exchange of gifts or else in markets where a commonly shared system of tokens is more convenient.

Many things have been exchanged in markets including, for example, livestock and sacks of cereal grain (from which the Shekel is derived) – things directly useful in themselves, but also sometimes merely attractive items such as cowry shells or beads were exchanged for more useful commodities. Precious metals from which early coins were made fall into this second category. [Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_money%5D

Barter

The first people didn’t buy goods from other people with money. They used barter. Barter is the exchange of personal possessions of value for other goods that you want. This kind of exchange started at the beginning of humankind and is still used today. From 9,000-6,000 B.C., livestock was often used as a unit of exchange. Later, as agriculture developed, people used crops for barter. For example, I could ask another farmer to trade a pound of apples for a pound of bananas.

Shells

At about 1200 B.C. in China, cowry shells became the first medium of exchange, or money. The cowry has served as money throughout history even to the middle of this century.

First Metal Money

China, in 1,000 B.C., produced mock cowry shells at the end of the Stone Age. They can be thought of as the original development of metal currency. In addition, tools made of metal, like knives and spades, were also used in China as money.  From these models, we developed today’s round coins that we use daily. The Chinese coins were usually made out of base metals which had holes in them so that you could put the coins together to make a chain.

Silver

At about 500 B.C., pieces of silver were the earliest coins.   Eventually in time they took the appearance of today and were imprinted with numerous gods and emperors to mark their value. These coins were first shown in Lydia, or Turkey, during this time, but the methods were used over and over again, and further improved upon by the Greek, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman empires. Not like Chinese coins, which relied on base metals, these new coins were composed from scarce metals such as bronze, gold, and silver, which had a lot of intrinsic value.

Leather Currency

In 118 B.C., banknotes in the form of leather money were used in China. One-foot square pieces of white deerskin edged in vivid colors were exchanged for goods. This is believed to be the beginning of a kind of paper money.

Noses

During the ninth century A.D., the Danes in Ireland had an expression “To pay through the nose.” It comes from the practice of cutting the noses of those who were careless in paying the Danish poll tax.

Paper Currency

From the ninth century to the fifteenth century A.D., in China, the first actual paper currency was used as money. Through this period the amount of currency skyrocketed causing severe inflation. Unfortunately, in 1455 the use of the currency vanished from China. European civilization still would not have paper currency for many years.

Potlach

In 1500, North American Indians engaged in potlach, a term that describes the exchange of gifts at banquets, dances, and various rituals. Since the trading of gifts was so important in figuring the leaders’ community status, potlach went out of control as the gifts became more extravagant in an effort to surpass others’ gifts.

Wampum

In 1535, though likely well before this earliest recorded date, strings of beads made from clam shells, called wampum, are used by North American Indians as money. Wampum means white, the color of the clam shells and the beads.

Gold Standard

In 1816, England made gold a benchmark of value. This meant that the value of currency was pegged to a certain number of ounces of gold. This would help to prevent inflation of currency. The U.S. went on the gold standard in 1900.

Depression

Because of the depression of the 1930’s, the U.S. began a world wide movement to end tying currency to gold. Today, few nations tie the value of their currency to the price of gold. Other government and financial institutions now try to control inflation.

Today

At present, nations continue to change their currencies. For example, the U.S. has already changed its $100 and $20 banknotes. More changes are in the works.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is already here. Electronic money (or digital cash) is already being exchanged over the Internet.

Reference: http://library.thinkquest.org/28718/history.html?tql-iframe

Why do we use money?

We use money as payment for goods or services. Today people use coins, banknotes (bills), checks, credit cards, and debit cards (the cards used at automatic teller machines, or ATMs) to pay for things. Before money was invented, you could only get something from another person by bartering or trading something else for it. It was hard to make even trades and the deal had to be made on the spot. The introduction of money offered people greater flexibility when trying to get goods or services: it made it possible to put standard values on things, and money could be saved and used for future purchases. [Reference: http://www.answers.com/topic/why-do-we-use-money#ixzz2UXjTicdl%5D

Money Wears Out

It doesn’t take long for money to wear out. In fact, money can wear out in as little as 15 months. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta shows the approximate life of paper currency denominations and coins.  A table based on its information follows:

Denomination

Length of Time

$1.00

18 months

$10.00

18 months

$5.00

15 months

$20.00

2 years

$50.00

5 years

$100.00

8 1/2 years

Coin

25 years

Commercial banks send worn-out notes to a Federal Reserve Bank to be replaced. Then, the Reserve Banks sort the money they get and decide whether or not it can be reused. If it can be, they put it in vaults until it recirculates again through the commercial banks. Reserve Banks then burn the unusable paper money and return the damaged coins to the U.S. Treasury.