Economic Karma

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 17 May 2012

Category: karma

I can’t recall a time when the world, our country, or my family and friends have been–of necessity–more focused on money than during these past few years.

THINGS:  Exerting the time and effort to earn money to acquire them; going shopping to buy them; then, spending more time, effort, and money to keep them clean and shiny, in good operating condition, and well repaired is, to me, a gigantic waste of time, effort, and money.

There are so many more meaningful, life-enriching activities to focus on than consumerism and surrounding one’s self with lots of inanimate “stuff:” education, travel, cultural activities, nature, animals/pets, volunteer work, reading, gardening, spending quality time with loved ones–to name but a few.

But, it takes financial security and unfettered time to enjoy even these non-materialistic pleasures.

A long time ago I read a tiny book titled, Leisure: The Basis of Culture.  It’s thesis is that no great art, literature, philosophy, religion, government, scientific discoveries or society ever emerged from cultures in which individual members needed to spend every waking moment working to acquire the necessities of life.

Without the leisure to think, learn, create; become broadened, deepened, skilled, enlightened, and awakened; humans are nothing more than dull functionaries focused entirely on fulfilling their “animal needs,” day in and day out.

History and anthropology validate these assertions.  It is only when we first have what we require to survive and thrive that we can carve-out the time necessary to engage in the higher level activities that lead to important cultural contributions and an enlightened populace that has the potential to make their society “Great.”

But what is the best way to insure that every person is given such an opportunity?  The news is replete with stories of riots and demonstrations in Europe where government entitlements and subsidies are being decreased; thousands of homes are in foreclosure; parents must work 2 or 3 jobs just to keep some kind of roof over their kids’ heads and food in their bellies; people have worked and saved their entire lives only to see their 401K’s disappear, pensions cut, and worry that social security and medicare might not be there when needed; and prices are sky-high, on everything from food and gasoline to medicine and college tuition.

Is the answer more and bigger government? A society in which the rich are mandated to support the poor? A subsistence standard of living for everyone? A turn away from entitlements and back to the self-reliance once prized by our ancestors? Endowments given only to the brightest, most innovative and industrious among us so that private enterprise will flourish and lead to more and better jobs for all? ………………….? Many questions.

At this point, only one thing seems certain to me.  As a species, we are being forced to face and resolve the effects of the economic causes we have set into motion decades ago. There is no sane way to ignore these any longer. The coffers are bare.  There is no place to go and no one to turn to for loans. The benefactors and bail-outs available to rescue the millions drowning in debt are, themselves, running dry.

How we determine to respond to the “economic karma” we are now facing will affect many generations to come.  Let’s determine to finally take responsibility for our individual circumstances and stand on our own two feet again–one-by-one and nation-by-nation.  Only then will we be in a position to assist those who are truly unable to fend for themselves. Only by doing so will we free ourselves from a karma of scarcity and reclaim the natural state of abundance intended for all Creation.

 

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