Living in abundance and luxury has proven to be too much of a good thing for many of us...especially those of us born into a predominance of capitalism in the world. Our greed has disassociated us from sympathy for those oppressed and has encouraged us to feed on their efforts. Many of us live sheltered lives surrounded by opulence and the idea of superiority. In many ways, we've created a monster full of joy and humor that was originally designed to be a vehicle to personify our values of appreciation and enjoyment - even reward. This has fallen from its purpose, however, into lessons of greed and avarice and all the accompanying side effects of this maleficence. This is the swamp in which we currently float in our little boat where we must laugh to stay afloat or sink into our tears and merge with the mire of our misgivings.
Thank you for listening.
Music: I was raised with a scarcity mindset. I spent a large part of my life seeking what I was led to believe would guarantee my safety - prosperity. In my case, this was an appropriate lesson for me. If I learned anything with all that investment in supporting other's success, I learned that the most important question that I needed to answer I was never ready to respond to until I was in my 60's. What do I want to give of myself? When you're raised to think yourself small and invisible and unnecessary, that important question doesn't even exist. What does exist is a drive to design a self that must constantly prove its value. That was my journey. Each generation carries this better understanding about what is truly valuable and shoulders it forward.
I'm generally not a fan of country music but I found that this song and the corresponding video with John C.McGinley hits the mark. Kenny Chesney, who I knew exactly zero about until I read his Wiki page performs the song, Rich and Miserable here. It focuses on asking the hard question: What do we truly value and want to give of our lives? Write it down, then walk on with the lessons learned, and trade on it.
...yes, I just put a picture of the laughing Buddha with a song by a country western crooner in a post together. East meet west meet east.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.