Please stand up for your ability to experience new experiences without spending money.
You are a 21-year-old woman who wants to travel the world, be adventurous, break the mold and discover who you are. And what better way to do that than without the accoutrements of a middle class life? Traveling costs a lot of money. In many cases, the amount of money you will spend traveling will nearly double the cost of graduating from college and starting a career. You will have no choice but to burn through your limited finances and hope for the best when you hit the road.
Let me explain: all of your life, you have only known the income-based society you came from. You see money as a means to an end, not a reality that determines your life. You understand that spending more money than you make is irresponsible. Once you are at your destination, you will be there for the experience and not the means to the end. This experiential wealth is a way of life.
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When you have enough money you will be able to buy the comforts of life. You will be able to afford the food, medicine, warm shelter and entertainment you crave to make your trip worthwhile. Soon you will also have the opportunity to save money for the next trip. It is perfectly reasonable to do this.
Then you will get sick.
The trip may be much longer than you imagined, costs a great deal more than you expected, and you begin to worry that you will get sick in front of people who will pity you. You will tell yourself that the trip was worth it, no matter how much it cost.
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Then you will get sick.
Back when the first world was getting much richer, in 2015, there were about one billion people in the world without health insurance. This meant that many of them could not afford the healthcare the rest of us take for granted. Even those who were insured struggled with high deductibles and copays.
As a result, medicine became an affordable luxury item. When the medicine was wrong for you, you went to the hospital anyway and paid a steep bill, only to come out with the equivalent of one day’s salary for a doctor visit. A cancer diagnosis was worse than death. The experience was life-changing.
Only a few hundred years ago, more than half of the world’s population was illiterate. They were forced to rely on the ignorance of the village and its neighbors for information and skill. Today, we live in a world where vast chunks of information are available to us instantaneously. Sadly, that information comes at a price.
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At the hospital, you will pay for whatever a doctor is able to diagnose. The worst part is that you will not have access to test results and data to help you take the appropriate action. You will have to rely on your intuition and trust that the doctor will have your best interest at heart. That line of reasoning is a dangerous one. While the doctor is giving you a diagnosis, you will likely have enough information to suggest that the diagnosis is wrong. There is no way to know. And that is the crux of the problem. The fact is that, by relying on others’ guidance, you will never be in control of your life.
With the advent of blockchain technology, there is a far better way. Simply place a single copy of your health records on a decentralized cloud that is incorruptible and entirely secure. The end result will be a day when you can hire a doctor with a strong track record and get all of his or her results. As long as you have sufficient resources, you will be able to afford the same luxury that the moneyed elite of the world enjoy.
Note: This post originally appeared on my personal blog.