What does it mean to be rich? Does it mean that a person has a lot of money? Does it mean having a big house with a lot of things in it? I know people who have an abundance of money, but their health isn’t good. To me, that’s not rich. There are also people who are completely broke but in perfect health. That’s not rich to me either. What exactly is rich?
Could you feel rich if you didn’t own any possessions? Could you imagine a world without any money? In the documentary called Living Without Money, Heidemarie Schwermer explains how she made the decision to live without money 15 years ago. She hasn’t had any money since, and she’s much happier because of it.
In 1996, she gave away all of her belongings, and she embarked on a one year experiment to see if she could figure out how to live without having any money. At first it was shockingly hard for her since it’s such a different way to live compared to what our society is set up for. However, not only did she discover how to do it, she didn’t want to stop doing it after the year experiment. Now, 15 years later, she is still living, thriving, eating, traveling and sharing her story with the world…. without any money at all.
If she gets sick, she uses self-healing techniques to get better. Although, she rarely get sick and believes that much of our illnesses are caused by the stress related to our relentless pursuit of more money. She lives in spare rooms here and there. She usually stays in one place for about a week at a time. She works to earn her keep wherever she goes. She will wash dishes, clean, or do any job that is required to earn her keep. She barters what she can for food, and she gives away any money that people give her.
Heidemarie, who is now 69 years old, is university educated and owned a home before this endeavor. She isn’t doing it because she can’t make money, she doing it because she believes she is better off without it. She says, “This is our future. One day we will all live without money because we don’t need it and because it is only a burden. We already live in a barter economy. We go to work to get money. I want to go farther.” Do you think this woman is nuts or brilliant? She’s been called both. She’s written two books about her experiences. You can download her second book here for free (it’s in German).