How much is enough? Have you got more than enough to meet your own needs? Are you struggling to meet your daily needs?
The question of plenty forces us to think about our basic needs. Many people in North America have disproportionately more than most of the rest of the world – and yet we don’t think we have plenty. We want more and more stuff. We think that this stuff that we want will bring us happiness.
What is happiness? For many, happiness is the belief that we got what we wanted. When a child is begging (usually loudly) for a bling bling or toy at the store, the belief that receiving that oh so desired thing will make them happy, dominates their thinking. The parent who gives in and provides that trinket is often buying quiet or perceived peace, not necessarily acting in the child’s best interest. The child learns that if he or she makes enough fuss, that cherished thing will be theirs.
More stuff = more happy.
But is this really true? How long is the pacified child happy with their new toy? 5 minutes? 5 days? How different are you and I than the briefly pacified child? If you can be honest with yourself, answer this question:
Does more stuff make you happier?
I have met people in several third world countries who are happier than most of my rich friends. They might like more stuff, but they have learned a lesson that we can benefit from. If I have enough food to eat; clothes to wear and a roof over my head to shelter me from the desert or the winter, I have plenty. Being warm, fed and protected is the beginning. After my basic needs are met, I begin to look out for my other needs. One that seems to be overlooked by many people is the need to share.
When my basic needs are met, how can I help you to meet your basic needs? What can I do to provide food, shelter and clothing for you? When we can both work together to meet the needs of more and more people, we have risen to another level. When I give of my plenty and help you to also have plenty we both can share our plenty with more and we together can change the world.
Is your goal in life to have plenty, or to change the world?
The maverick mentality says there are two basic motivators: greed and fear. Let me suggest that there is indeed a third: love.
When I can love my neighbor as I love myself, I have risen above the basic motivators of greed and fear. I choose to do things that benefit my neighbor whether or not they immediately or directly benefit me. Some of my mentors call this, “Giving Back.”
When I have something to share that benefits you, we together can work together to learn how to share with others.
Is this Socialism? No.
My choice to share with you is a gift from me, to you. No one forces me to give a gift. The moment I am under obligation to give, it’s no longer a gift.
You can’t give or share something you do not have. What can I do to create more to share? Is money the only thing I could share? Is the knowledge I have worth sharing with you? Will you benefit from my years of experience in a way that sharing that experience will be helpful?