How many times have you heard people who lived through the great depression say that?

shooting marbles
I have heard that phrase countless times from my parents and many of “the greatest generation”.  What a blessed state of ignorance that phrase describes. It is a state of profound and pervasive lack.

  • lack of self-judgment
  • lack of social judgment based on material wealth
  • lack of material pride
  • lack of selfishness
  • lack of spiritual depravity derived from excess
  • lack of covetousness, that nagging need to have more than someone else
  • lack of NEED

It inversely describes a state of abundance, both perceived and real. An ABUNDANCE of:

  • Friends – Real Personal Relationships, not phony, material ones
  • Mutual Good Will and Generosity
  • Confidence that your friends and neighbors, who are in the same boat, are with you, care about you and are watching your back
  • Peace and a sense of Well-Being
  • Focus on things that really count

I’m sure both lists could be extended, but you get the point.

Yesterday, around the Village Thanksgiving table, I don’t recall a single reference to Black Friday or even shopping other than for basic needs or how to do it efficiently. Maybe I just missed it.

I think there is an inverse relationship between real wealth and the preoccupation with buying more stuff. The person who perceives no need is not needy. Regardless of the number of zeros in one’s bank balance, a person who can hardly wait to go shopping for the latest ego-boosting bling, gadget or fad is the one in deep need, and therefore, poor.

That is not to infer that Villagers are financially poor. We’re not, although I’m sure some have more than others. The point is, nobody seems to care too much about who has what. A community that doesn’t continuously focus on or remind us of things we want, either vocally or by the things they flaunt, gives us spiritual space to appreciate things that matter more and that cost little.

In the things that matter, I think we’re on balance, a very wealthy bunch.

Are we blissfully ignorant of our poverty? I don’t think so. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would rather be intensely and joyfully aware of our wealth, but maybe it’s the same thing. As I often remind students in my marketing class at the University of the South, Perception is more important than. . .       NO. . . Perception IS reality.

6 thoughts on “WE DIDN’T KNOW WE WERE POOR

  1. Follow up: late to the party, I just discovered “what would Jesus buy” on youtube. I had to skip forward through most of it because I found it revolting.

    It begs several questions:
    Can you fight crass commercialism with crass commercialism taken to its most extreme form of theater of the absurd by distiling all that is phony?
    Can you successfully promote the inner peace that comes from being grounded in Christ’s teachings by focusing for an hour and a half on NOT shopping or NOT anything?
    Suppose everyone STOPPED SHOPPING. Then what? What will you replace it with?

    Shopping is the symptom, not the disease. The disease is an emptiness of the soul that must be filled with something more than stopping a bad habit.

    Christ gave us the way to fill the void. It requires a quiet searching of one’s own soul and an optimistic kind of repentance that continuously reaches for the light.

    No quick fixes sold by huxters with sizzle-slick packaging or crazed performances. Sorry, Reverand Billy, your brand of religion is just a distorted form of Disney/Walmart/Babylon pagan consumerism augmented with the latest feel-good progressive fads of shop local and corporation hate. And when your converts have salved their consciences by looking for made-in-America labels and bad-mouthing Walmart, what will they do? SHOP TILL THEY DROP!

    We can do better.


  2. Wow. Interesting perspective. I enjoyed how you protected this subject….
    A few points I dont trust but hi… thats a different outlook.
    I’m super-keen to read the next post. Is it possible to make the
    next one more in depth? Thanks 🙂


  3. Reblogged this on Journey to Living a Beautiful Life and commented:
    I always get frustrated that I can’t quite capture some of the more important and meaningful concepts of authentic happy, content and meaningful living in words. This post really does the trick.

    No matter your back ground, religious, financial or otherwise this is important for us all.

    Well woth a read 🙂


  4. Pingback: Money, Entrepreneurship, Meditation and Joy – the Village on Sewanee Creek

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