Thursday, November 23, 2006

Living Richly (Thanksgiving)

The challenge of life in these times is no longer want and scarcity but abundance and excess -- when people who have enough, demand ever increasingly MORE -- which has no end and no fulfillment. What is required is for all those people brought up in another time and circumstances to be re-educated, re-conditioned, and re-created in the realities of the present times, more so than the young and unformed need to be given MORE education -- particularly in the “old" ways, which they proudly call the “traditional values.”

Beyond a common level of subsistence, the greater gain is in quality of experience and involvement -- rather than simply more of going through the motions, acquiring more toys, the rituals and trappings of life -- as though that is what living richly is all about. And so no matter how much these people have, it is never enough, and the only answer in life, is MORE, unceasingly more -- which of course creates the problems of our times -- in that many otherrs are truly and hopelessly in need because increasingly more of the numerous middle-class are led to believe it is their entitlement to live as lavishly as royalty of the past and celebrities of these times.

It is one thing for one or a few to have much, but it is something else when most demand it as their birthright -- that they too have a right to live as the richest man in America lives -- if only they work hard enough to achieve that dream. Even extremely gifted individuals in the field of their specialty, are wont to credit their hard work rather then the immense natural gifts and advantages they were blessed with -- that no amount of hard work can duplicate or create -- but they cannot claim credit for.

Does that doom the rest of us laboring in the fields in which we are not as successful? -- or is it just information telling us where our own talents and treasure may truly lie. When we discover that, it is the line of least resistance and great productivity and satisfaction that all the frustration in the world could never earn or entitle them.

The sense of gratitude (appreciation for what one already has), is very different from the sense of entitlement that always demands more no matter how much it has -- and can no longer appreciate any of it, so obsessed has it become only for that which it doesn’t already have. And of course, that which they don’t have is the infinite and insatiable.

So the lesson in Thanksgiving is the appreciation of what one already has -- and seeing the infiinte in them. Very few people really need more -- not that their unions and other associations won’t try to convince them of how much more they are entitled to and have less than everybody else. That seems to be the great disease of the last few decades, that Vance Packard already began warning about in his studies of The Status Seekers and The Hidden Persuaders -- 50 years ago. It hasn’t gotten as much attention lately, nor has George Orwell's observations of the corruption of well-intentioned people.

Initially, as naive young people, they tell us they do what they do, because they love mankind. Later, as more experienced “workers,” they feel that no matter how much society has enriched them -- it can never be enough until they have more than everybody else -- as their “fair” share.


At November 23, 2006 10:16 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Usually I try to publish unique, topical writing to my active blogs and forums (see directory of current writings)-- except on those special occasions in which universal reflection and observance seems to be appropriate, and cuts across all divisions of human society and interest.

One of the essential "political" messages must be that politics has to be beyond partisanship and narrow self-interests dominating all the others.

How that is achieved is more than the elections; the media likes to reduce it to their own petty politics of their own personal worldview and experiences -- rather than being the grand vision it should authentically be -- of all.


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