Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Things" Don't Bring Happiness

Why do we need to have a lot of things? This thought crossed my mind when I was perusing some blogs on the web and ran across this quote….

“We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. ~William James”

I was blown away. I was blown away because it was so apparent to me that this quote rings true. Think about it. We have this “stigma” associated with anyone who is not well-dressed, live in what we deem a suitable home, and/or making a satisfactory living in life. Why do we do that? Why do we equate money with value?

I have met people who are poor. I have touched them. And I will forever carry them with me. Each time I met someone who lived in what I would call “squalor” conditions, I was amazed at how the children were still so joyful. I’m guessing – but could it maybe be because they did not yet realize how little they had? If they had a parent, food, health, and love – what more could they want? Ahhh yess – let us as the world show them and destroy their inner happiness causing them to want and need more.

Are we afraid of those who don’t need “things” in life to make them happy? Do they make us uncomfortable? And if so, why is that? Is it maybe because they are forcing us to look at our own hearts – our own prejudices and we don’t like what we see? We are shallow, shallow people. We have to have “things” to make us happy, acceptable, loved. No wonder they don’t satisfy us. For things will never bring us those things.

Some people are born into poverty and others choose to give away what they make out of love for the rest. I think maybe it is those very people who truly have tapped into what real living is all about.


Faith Imagined said...

Great insights. When I went on a mission trip to Central America, I came home with a better perspective of how blessed I really am. It was quite an eye and heart opener.

Cherie said...

I have been struggling with this very thing. I don't need more "stuff", but yet I find myself out buying things that "in the moment" I think I need. In an effort to curb that, I have stayed home 3 days this week to avoid going out and spending money on things I really don't need. There are so many in this world who are in true need. I am trying to focus more on them this Christmas season rather than on myself.

Dionna said...

Cherie -
I think it's okay to enjoy what God has given us and sometimes that means a little splurge here and there. It's okay to enjoy life. As long as our it's not our main focus "things" and we don't end up being so wrapped up in what we have and our image. :)

But I admire your desire to refocus and staying home 3 days a week. I pray you can achieve your goal of focusing more on others. :)


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