Monday 15 August 2011

Priority Shift

My rant about consumerism yesterday focussed on the idea that the world has become driven by power and money. Thinking some more about this I’ve realised that an important distinction needs to be made. Money and power themselves are not bad because they are both a neutral form of energy. It is the way they get used that is the problem.

Money is a fact of our reality, it is our method of exchange and it isn’t going anywhere. We all need some money to survive in the modern world and wanting to prosper is not a bad goal in itself. Where things get sticky is when we start to love money a bit too much. We start to desire money for money’s sake, just to have it. We start to see the accumulation of money as proof of our success and power. We start to view ourselves as superior to those with less money. And we start to believe that we’ll never have enough.

Power is also necessary in the world. We each need our own sense of empowerment if we are to ever see our dreams fulfilled. Without empowerment we lack confidence and we begin to doubt ourselves and our abilities. Without power we can never reach our potential. Power, as a positive attribute, allows us to stand up for ourselves and be treated with respect and love. But when used in the wrong way power can corrupt and devalue others. Power can be used to maintain superiority.

The way I see it, what the world needs now is a shift in priorities. Working to accumulate money is ok. In fact, it is a necessity in today’s world. But perhaps a line needs to be drawn. Just how much money does each person really need to survive? There is enough money in the world to feed us all, and then some. A more equal distribution of wealth would make more sense than what is happening now - some people being absolutely saturated with money while others do not even have enough to buy food.

Our value system needs a shake up. We need to realign ourselves with the desire for personal growth rather than financial growth. We need to choose to experience interconnectedness with all others instead of seeking superiority. We need to remember and live in accordance with the values of joy and love and generosity and compassion. Our work needs to be a way for us to contribute to the greater good, not just a way for us to contribute to our ever expanding bank account!

This quote I found sums it all up –

“Let’s stop loving things and start loving people. That is the measure of true wealth.”

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