Reflections on Abundance
From: Alchemy of the One
New abundance cannot be drawn into our lives until we recognize gratefully the abundance that already exists. But then, what about the impoverished man sitting in a prison cell or the beggar who watches the masses pass by his street corner? Where then is their wealth?
Wealth comes in different forms. The man in his cell is wealthy in time. His upkeep is paid for by society. He can educate himself. His basic needs are provided for. The corporate president has his needs provided for as well, but he is impoverished in time and his relationships may suffer consequently. His burdens and responsibilities are great and he may become so enslaved by his work that he becomes a stranger to his heart's desires. Who then is more impoverished?
Look at the relationships and joys of your life when you assess your abundance. No one is impoverished who has access to nature and the wealth of natural beauty it provides. We take for granted the amenities that bring ease to our life, yet in many countries they are utter luxuries.
Having a television or washing machine could be a contribution to our lives, if we use the time to fulfill the desires of our hearts. If we use the time they save us to earn more money to buy more gadgets, we are not any more abundant than before. In places where there are no or few televisions, the abundant resources of inter-generational communication can flourish. The oral traditions are passed on from the elders to the young and the support of the family is abundant. Barter systems help everyone's contributions find value in rural communities and the handiwork of all can be a contribution to the tribe or family.
We need to re-think whether we have abundance or not. The emptiness that occurs within when we abandon ourselves brings about an ambitious and neurotic craving for more. We define our abundance by what we don't have, rather than by what we do have. Let us take moments of silence each day to assess the abundant resources in our lives — the miracles of our physical bodies, the joys of accomplishments, the love of a child. Then we will find to our amazement that we have all along been wealthy indeed.