Yesterday on a newscast, I heard an economist suggest that the way to stop our economic troubles was for us to SPEND. My first question was who would benefit from this kind of spending? I admit I flashed back to few years ago when early indicators showed that we had economic troubles brewing, security in question, and an ill-conceived war raging out of control. President Bush invited us to "go shopping" as I recall. Since that time, much has happened in the world to demonstrate the lack of wisdom in such short-term fixes. The wake-up call was one I badly needed and I recognize that what I've seen has been just a tiny glimpse of the far-reaching reality of what we've created for ourselves and our human family across the world.
I've been reading in a book, The Lessons from St. Francis: How to Bring Simplicity and Spirituality into Your Daily Life. It seems much of our lives are driven by wants. BIG wants, not needs. I think many of us don't even realize how our wants have turned into greed and self-interest unknowingly --- and that our choices are having negative impacts our future, the environment, and the lives and future of others whose lives are filled with needs unfulfilled.
Have you given this any thought?
Author, John Michael Talbot offers this simple formula to help us distinguish between our wants and needs:
- Food is a need. But a medium-rare T-bone steak smothered in onions is a want.
- Clothing is a need. But a designer suit with matching shoes is a want.
- Housing is a need. But a split-level ranch house with a semiattached garage, walk-in closets, and three bathrooms is a want.
Not all wants are bad, he reminds us, but moving through life with a higher consciousness about them and their implications on others is where change begins.
"Live Simply so that others may simply live." ---Gandhi
St. Francis left us with his call to action. Bay Area artist, Sally K. Green, shares three of her original paintings in oil with St. Francis messages to us all:
I leave you pondering my needs vs. wants.
founder, Global Dialogue Center
author, Putting Our Differences to Work:
The Fastest Way to Innovation, Leadership, and High Performance
Learn more... www.puttingourdifferencestowork.com