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