Money, freedom, and what really sustains

“Money is freedom!” So said a close older relative when I was still a young man. In the years since, I’ve come to understand how those three words sum up the view of much of humanity. But recently, some genealogical research on my mother’s family presented me with a most unexpected lesson as to why this view is not necessarily true.

One branch of my mother’s crowd were Mennonites in Russia. As I understand the historical details, the pacifist Mennonites were enticed to settle undeveloped lands in various parts of Russia and were given exemption from military service as part of the deal. An important point about the pacifist Mennonites: They weren’t just subsistence farmers—they wanted to farm and make money! 

December 9, 2013
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