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When I was a kid, we identified wants and needs. With gratitude it would change to, Is this something I want, something I need, or something that will help others.
Massively! Gratitude contributes to happiness, the more grateful you are in the moment the weirdly less you feel you need.
Perhaps people could see the abundance around them instead of always wanting more
I imagine that if enough people chose gratitude and generosity over greed, our beautiful earth and all her beings might live into a much more healthy, livable and sustainable future.
On a personal level, I appreciate the reminder and inspiration to live more intentionally with gratitude at the center of economic decisions. It is so easy to forget, or to dismiss the possibility that my wee economic vote counts!
It has the potential to change how we think about the world and our place in it. How we see ourselves.
The current economic paradigm – late-stage capitalism – values constant “growth”, perpetual extraction of limited resources, excessive consumption and rewards some way too much and others not nearly enough. It is often destructive and fails to revere the sacred. The practice of grateful living on the other hand values sufficiency, simplicity, appreciation for and worth of every living thing. If more of us follow this way, the current economic paradigm will sputter and be transformed into one that regenerates and revivifies. I can dream can’t I?
Thank you Elaine! Your words are like a clarion call of reality in our blinding fog of consumerism. I appreciate how your words light up the darkness and make truth undeniable
“Blinding fog of consumerism” – brilliant phrase!
I appreciate your comment Jay. Thank you.
I taught my children that we vote about once a year, but we vote with our dollars nearly every day. I was having this discussion with my brother recently, whom also cares deeply about economic justice , but thinks it is as simple as buying products from poorer countries to “even out wealth,” and unfortunately It is not as simple as that. There are exploiters out there and issues like the Uyghur “training facilities” that are really horrid prisons and forced work camps. The imprisoned Uyghurs produce many of our imported clothes and other items from China. If I am truly grateful for the Uyghur people, I won’t be making it profitable for those few in China profiting from that policy. Those camps are expanding! Why? Because we buy it, because we will choose a low price not caring that the price might be low because of slave labor or exploitation! China is also bringing many more coal plants online to contribute to global warming. So now when I am shopping, personally I won’t buy any product made in China (if there is any alternative), but it is FOR them, and for all of us, that I am doing this. Will they feel my sanction? No. But if many people do it? Yes. They are starting to feel it.
At first it was hard for me to pay more for Fair Trade, organic coffee. I’m considered poor in America (but I’m American and I have all my needs). But eventually, one item at a time, I made the ethical choice for Fair Trade coffee, chocolate, for “knowing my farmer” and buying local produce, and as the holidays come nearer some things I have been looking for are handmade by cottage industries (such as many on Etsy) or gifts that would help indigenous or poor communities (such as Ten Thousand Villages or Fair Trade Winds). This won’t work for every item I buy, of course, but just because you can’t do something perfectly doesn’t mean its okay to do nothing.
I have never regretted choosing less but choosing something that has meaning. Gratitude might be the reason I began choosing this way (in understanding I have “enough” and that I wish others to have enough, too), but gratitude is also what is generated by changing how I spend money. The coffee… and I am about to have another in a minute, lol… is good but also has meaning and connects me to small farmers in Peru who have co-opted to own a little farm land and an export business. They are better able to feed their families. And that enriches my life.
Holly, How beautifully your words express your heart! I am inspired to redouble my efforts as i make those same decisions day by day.
Thank you for your example!
Holly, Thank you so much for your reflection. Like Elaine, I have deep gratitude and respect for your courage to live your ethical values in spite of a deeply troubled economic system. Your sharing has inspired me to keep shining light on my daily and seasonal choices, and do my imperfect best to vote for a sustainable present and future as best I can…
Great respect for your consistent ethics Holly! I feel the same but sometimes succumb to compromise and then regret it. Every choice is imbued with meaning.
I am glad I’m not alone. Knowing others care and are trying to make better choices too is what gives me the courage to make the choices I do. ❤
It would evaporate(like the visual!) greed. I believe they cannot exist together. And maybe when I meditate, I will picture that……
Self knowledge to trust, when I realize my life with grateful heart, aware I have enough to live based in the voluntary simplicity.
Gratitude allows us to feel like we have enough with what we have and to stop coveting the need for more.
The more you give you get. Gratitude gives grace to be generous.
We will find our purpose in living as stewards of Creation and not as dominators. We will find our true place in caring and not in acquiring.
Beautiful Patricia. Thank you so much!
dear Patricia . . .
“We find our purpose in living as stewards of Creation & not as dominators.”
. . . we must relearn this
if we are to survive
Gratitude enables us to live a life of simplicity and ease, to appreciate what we have and to stop the need for more.
This is a great response, EJP. What a change we would see in the world if we each stopped the need for more. Thank you for sharing this 🙏
I guess that gratitude may change perspective from the search for benefits and dominance of the individual “I” to enclose the perspective of the economic, benefit and well-being of the “we”.
If everyone would take time to be grateful for what they have, it could certainly change the economic paradigm. My own personal economic paradigm changed when I quit focusing on lack and started focusing and being grateful for what I do have, the fact that my bills were all paid, food was on the table, gas was in my car, etc. It really changed my financial world when I shifted my thinking.
Such an important shift. Thank you for sharing this, sunnypatti 😊
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