The Great Contentment

Probably most of us have parents or grandparents that lived through the Great Depression.  Even though it occurred decades ago and the economy seemed to heal, I’m not sure we Americans ever recovered psychologically from those times.  At first, practices of frugality, reuse of items and establishment of an emergency fund were carefully followed.  Communities worked together, and supported each other’s businesses.  But then, much like coming off a very restrictive diet, we went on a binge.  Gather, hoard, consume, get rich quick became the goals of the generations that followed, as if these endeavors would protect them (us) from scarce and scary times.

In many ways, community and family have been replaced by the individual.  “Every man/woman for him/herself!”  Somewhere along the line, “he would give you the coat off his back” became “he will take the coat off your back if you let him”.  Never satisfied, we justify “more is better, it’s mine, and I earned it or at least figured out a way to take it from you”.  I find it interesting that, in a nation where we profess to be serious about our spirituality, and most religions and spiritual paths emphasize treating others at least as well as you treat yourself, we have become so possessive, greedy and competitive.  Do we even read our spiritual guidebooks?

It is said “we create what we defend against”.  In defending against scarcity, we have indeed created a sense of scarcity in our minds.  And in the current economy, apparently.  Hence, the lack of sharing and the unwillingness to support others to thrive along with your own efforts to thrive.  We politely ignore appeals to give voluntarily of our time, talent and money.  We adamantly oppose any formal legislation that would require us to do so involuntarily.   What is the answer then?

Yes, it is important to take care of myself.  I am responsible for my life.  But I don’t think that means “look out for number one” only.  Far more can be accomplished when we move from an independent to an interdependent mind set.  Collaboration and cooperation allow for great results, and, I say, more fun and enjoyment.  Creating an economy that meets the needs of all, including animals and the planet, is not beyond the capacity of our collective intellects.  We just have to be committed to doing so.

It is time to say goodbye to the “great depression” of our hearts and minds.  It is time to recognize that it is not things, and the acquiring of more of those things, that will bring us true joy.  It is through loving ourselves and others, and accessing the abundance within us, that we will finally feel satisfied.  I extend an invitation to you: join me in ushering in a new era, one of Great Generosity; of Great Enjoyment; and of Great Contentment.

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