March 6

There is enough in the world
for everyone's need, but not
enough for everyone's greed.

Mohandas Gandhi


Today's Meditation:

It's quite a shame that there's such inequity in the distribution of the world's resources.  I don't blame the people who have much more, for most of them are simply following the norms of the cultures in which they live--in which acquiring is something to aspire to--but I do feel that the world would be a much more pleasant place if the resources were spread out much more evenly.  It would be a much nicer world if people's greed didn't lead them to get more stuff than they actually need, which would leave more stuff to be spread out amongst others who need it, too, but who may not be able to get it when it's in the hands of the wealthy few.

If we could constantly remind ourselves that there's enough in the world for everyone's need, then perhaps the next time we're tempted to get something on a whim, something we know we don't actually need, we may feel moved to leave that for someone who does need it.  And perhaps we'll recognize when our desires come from a place of greed as opposed to a place of need.

I have things in my home that I never use.  I sometimes look at them and wonder if someone else could use them, as in my home they don't serve any real purpose at all, and they never really had.  But I got them for some reason, and there they are.  I often end up taking them to a charity thrift store, but the fact that I bought them in the first place means that my greed won out over my desire for equitable distribution of resources.  (And I don't see greed as a terribly negative quality, just one that we all have and that we could be working to banish from our lives.)

I really want to point a finger at the people who are very obviously greedy, but I know that I have to point it at myself before I point it elsewhere, for I do have some greed in me, and I do act out of greed, and I do misuse resources due to my greed.  When I stop doing that, then I'll be contributing to the fair distribution of resources, which is a contribution that I hope to make to the world sooner rather than later.  One day I hope to be helping others to meet their needs, and not just myself.

Questions to consider:

How many people think about whether or not they're following their need or their greed?  What's the difference? 

Is it possible that "greedy" isn't as negative a thing as we're told it is?  How would you use the term--as a slam or as a descriptive term?

What would it take for people to start focusing on their needs instead of their greed?

For further thought:

It would be interesting to see what would happen to this
world if each person wanted and took just enough for them
to get by comfortably and in style.  Is that what
paradise would be like?


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