When you don’t have enough money, you start to question the idea of it in the first place.
Who controls it? Why? and how?
You start to wonder if the typical system makes sense or if it’s really up to any good.
I’ve often wondered why the most important work doesn’t pay well. The answers are more complicated than I can talk about here or even truly understand without a lot of research. Nevertheless, many of the answers tend to stem from issues of power, the sources of control/power, and the desire to keep things a certain way for people who have amassed wealth and power.
The capital of the United States is now the richest city in the country and awash in new millionaires and billionaires; not because these folks created important and noble things, but because they are following a gravy train of money, special favors, and power for a very few.
I don’t subscribe to all ofCharles Eisenstein‘s views, but what he has to say about money and what we can do to make our relationships better and the world a better place are worth hearing.
It’s good to question the influential things in our lives. It’s smart to vet them for their goodness and test them for their true benefits. If our ways are left wanting, it’s good to re-invent how we interact and exchange with one another.
Today, I give you this video as food-for-thought. How could we do things differently?
I’m planning a webinar on April 24th with my friend Bill Fox. I’ve learned that he is beginning to use a gifting model for his work. It’s intrigued me and I’m starting to investigate it for my purposes too. More on the webinar (topics and schedule) will be coming in the next week or so…stay tuned!…
OKAY UPDATE! My newest resource is now available using the gifting system. Check out the details HERE!
Please share this post with others. It costs you nothing :)
By way of a recap, I’m suspending my blogging for a while, but I’m still going to post a few more interviews. I hope you enjoy them.
The bio of Rolf Potts reads like a who’s-who of celebrated travel writers. His NO BAGGAGE Challenge last year highlighted the idea that travel can be much simpler than we tend to think. He trekked over 30,000 miles without a single bag to weigh him down.
The same mentality can be helpful in life too, according to Rolf. Enjoy watching this short chat we had, (and subscribe to the youtube channel for more great stuff).
Besides his website that contains some great articles, blog posts, and case studies in vagabonding–here are 2 of Rolf’s book that make great reading:
In the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar, actress Demi Moore replies to the question, “What scares you?” by saying,
“If I were to answer it just kind of bold-faced, I would say what scares me is that I’m going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I’m really not lovable, that I’m not worthy of being loved. That there’s something fundamentally wrong with me … What scares me the most is not knowing and accepting that just about everything is not in my control. That makes me feel unsafe.”
Some people may claim the Hollywood starlet is speaking of a “God-shaped void” as Blaise Pascal once referred to it. But wait just a minute…
Not everybody will admit to this sort of thing. Some never gaze inward long enough to see it. But there it is. While many won’t realize what what the jilted Moore is talking about for themselves, I think this women has hit on a fundamentally human frailty fraught with universal relevancy. (And it has virtually nothing to do, in fact, with a certain shaggy-headed addition to the Two And A Half Man sitcom.) This frailty, I might add, is not actually negative, as we might first imagine, but rather part of the vulnerability that is the stuff of being human.
It’s these same underlying and exquisitely human fears that we mask, medicate, bury, avoid, deflect, or anesthetize, that cause all manner of destructive behaviors and coping mechanisms. For Demi, who was just hospitalized for stress-related health issues (namely exhaustion…and likely malnutrition), it can create potent consequences. It’s something wealth, influence, fame, accolades, and beauty doesn’t seem to ameliorate. Curious, no?
For many religion or spiritual practice helps to blunt the reality of our human predicament, but clearly that alone doesn’t seem to actually mend the situation. I refer not to just the situation of being mortal, but of being fundamentally impotent. Rarely is this gnawing sense placated for long. Demi, for one, is connected to the practice of Kabblah, but it hasn’t helped this core need.
Though her vulnerability and frailties are up for public scrutiny, many possess the same sorts of fears and maladies, and even despair, but go unnoticed.
To me, our condition seems unmendable…purposefully, that is.
Christians may argue they are the exception; they feel a great sense of hope because of belief in Jesus Christ, arriving to our world as the incarnation of God to make a pathway back to God. Alas, Redemption! Closure, right? Yet a cursory survey of believers (even 3 minutes scanning twitter feeds) show they too are rife with the same sorts of problems as Moore, and Jesus hasn’t seemed to fix that for them.
(The particulars of why are widely speculated and even hotly contested. Some call for more faith and prayer, while others osmotically move into greater embracing of “the mysteries”.)
The funny things is, I get Demi. I feel those things too. I wrestle with them, and I’ve taken up the journey to walk through all the rough patches, which are aplenty.
I think it’s high time to bring what it means to be human out it the open.
A kind of unlearning happens as we grow wiser, and the sort of acceptance of our weaknesses may take hold as we become more acquainted with our human condition. Maturity I think it’s called. The “Will we ever get there?” question lingers.
What do you think about Demi’s quote?
Do you relate to her, or do you see things differently?
Our ability to give hinges on our idea of how the world is, does it not? If we believe we must hold tightly to what we have, our ability to receive will also be hindered.
If we perceive others, God, or even life in general to be sparse in goodness and blessings, we will develop a generosity gap. Something besides giving fills that gap, so we give less. The desire to give wanes too. Eventually, we will live thoroughly according to our purview –which is a close-fisted plexus of Generosity, and a closed system.
Fear and mistrust are the guiding elements in a close-fisted worldview. The close fist builds the muscles of fear and mistrust, and these sinews burgeon into every area of our life. Where God’s people do not give generously, there is a culture and predominating sentiment of mistrust and fear, toward God and others. This is, sadly, also an attribute of spiritual immaturity. Perfect love casts out fear. Perfected love and grace spurs generosity–a very reflection of God’s nature.
Our behavior reflects our Theology. (i.e. It mirrors the way we have studied and apprehended the Supreme Being)
The temptation to withhold is a temptation to not trust in God. It will indeed effect our worship of God, and diminish our spiritual growth.
Is there a cure? YES. (Well, cure is rather strong word…but let’s continue…)
In short, to be generous in deed and in spirit, remember God’s faithfulness. Notice the lavish displays of God’s generosity, even in his astonishing creation. The intricate details of his many designs, the lavish beauty everywhere in nature, are surprisingly needless–unless we consider God as a generous Being, par excellence.
Verse for Reflection: II Cor.10-15
Now [God] who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Do you think God is stingy? Do you feel your blessing are few? What treasure do you have that you must give more freely to God (time, talents, funds, other)?
Recommended Spiritual Discipling (training) to help galvanize Generosity:
(If you’d like to work on your generosity, with your ministry or small group, or use fasting as training to promote generosity, contact me.)