Thursday, March 5, 2009

Blessings in Disguise

I wonder if the current economic crisis is a blessing in disguise. It was always going to happen after the years and years of increasing consumerism, materialistic attitudes and impatience. While the straw that broke the camels back may have been the 'big wigs', we as a society and individuals are not blameless. Falling for the ruse that more things will make us happy. Buying all the gadgets, clothes, cars and must-haves NOW and never pausing to think. Buy now pay later. Instead of choose now, save and buy later. The Australian dream of a home turned into the biggest and best you could eke out of lending institutions. Not starting modestly and working your way up. Renovating as you could afford, DIY, just being happy with a roof over your head and a loving family underneath. There is no appreciation of what we have. No joy in working to save for an item and being grateful. Have all these items, increased and crippling debt, children in every activity under the sun until they have schedules that rival executives, made our society happier? Or healthier? Or peaceful? Or crime-free? Has it eradicated abuse, violence, illness and suffering? No. We have more and more people suffering stress. Anxiety. And Depression is the leading cause of disability in Australia. These surely are signs of a society ready to break. Of unhappiness. Of strain. Of continual seeking when what you need is right there within and surrounding you. We see evidence of this all around us with irritable people, rude people, children who have limited attention spans and appreciate nothing. Maybe the economic crisis that is the consequence of all this, was meant to be. There is more and more talk of simpler lives now. Of growing vegies, of recycling, of reducing energy costs, of wanting more from life than material possessions. This has emerged out of necessity, yes. But the flow on to spending more time as families doing these things as they are time intensive, comparitively, has to be a positive thing for relationships, which these days, so many of us find so difficult and so finicky. So much talk of being mindful and in the moment. Not hippy talk. Not the answer. Because in years gone by they did this naturally. Yes, the state of the economy and the strain on many due to this is not nice. But I wonder if this is the start of a much needed bigger change that can only benefit society, people, the environment and the world's happiness. Just a thought.

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