The Dow may be dropping, but it's raining gold here!

Today's cards are the Six and Ace of Pentacles.

Tarot cards depicting a wealthy figure giving money to supplicants, and a floating hand carrying a gold disk above a garden.

The scene in the Six of Pentacles looks like a display of charity, until you take time to look at everything else going on in this card. And then the scene plays out more like this:

(Let's call the three characters Left, Middle, and Right for purposes of this gripping drama.)

MIDDLE: Friends, I have heard of your grim poverty. And so, this morning, I put on my best outfit, which cost more than either of you will see in your lifetime, and I came down to visit you in person and bestow a gift.

LEFT: Thanks! this is, what, a dollar in pocket change?

MIDDLE: Indeed, but if you invest it wisely, compound interest will soon make you as wealthy as I am!

LEFT: Well, sure, but...could I have maybe one of those gold plates that are just sort of hovering around your head?

MIDDLE: No, these are very important. If I gave you one of these solid gold plates, then I would only have five instead of six, and that path leads to chaos and madness.

RIGHT: Don't I get any?

MIDDLE: No, you see, I only had four quarters in my pocket, and this super-accurate charity-measuring scale told me that your friend here deserved all of them.

RIGHT: It looks level to me. Maybe we could split the...

MIDDLE: I don't understand you two. Is this the thanks I get? I left home in the middle of a very important project--I'm having a giant floating hand installed over my garden, carrying a huge solid gold disk, very expensive, very complicated--I left that critical work behind to give you easily enough money to buy a shot of espresso, and this is how you treat me?

So, yeah, that's the story, clear as day. Difficult to derive a moral from it, though. Hmm.

How's this: intentions don't help anyone. Actions do. Just saying "I wish I could help" isn't actually help. It's no good to say "I'm sorry" if you don't change. Clicking the "yes I will attend" button on someone's Facebook event is not equivalent to actually attending. (Neither is posting "I'll be there in spirit!" Because, first of all, no you won't, and second of all, even if you really were here in spirit, you're hardly going to be in a position to help me make signs or put up the tent, are you?)

So, don't just make a gesture. Make a difference. Don't be the person who only clicks "yes I will attend." Be the person who shows up with a hot dish and some extra folding chairs.

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