Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sustainable Living - Sifting Through Fantasies

"He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty." - Proverbs 28:19

Everyday I have the choice to pursue reality and contentment or fantasies and self-destruction through choosing a mindset that forces me to chase more unrealistic lifestyles that don't offer me peace and joy. The reality of living well for me includes the basics: healthy food, clean water, decent clothes, shelter, and transportation, life long learning through both informal and formal education at the lowest rate possible, and participating in a community of others who strive in the same direction I'm going. That's it! My driving force is to first please God according to Biblical standards which some would argue is a fantasy but it's been working for me for the past 9 years.

Self-destruction is by far my greatest fear. If a natural disaster overtakes me or I am a random victim of violence, I have no control over that at all. However, if I choose to chase unrealistic fantasies way above and beyond my skill set, my personality, my core being, my private points-of-view, I will self-destruct. I need to control those behaviors. Like you, I have done so many self-destructive things over my lifetime and by the grace of God, I'm still standing and pursuing a better life that works for me. I'm not talking about the big obvious actions like drinking and driving or addiction to drugs. No. I'm talking about the small daily conflicts that accumulate to disastrous results like using stupid credit cards without paying off balances just so I can appear "fabulous." Such actions for me have proven to be empty.

To me, real poverty includes lack of self-control, wisdom, joy, peace, love, little interest in learning anything new, and a strong resistance to getting along with other people using collaborative versus controlling strategies. These dignified riches make life worth living and have nothing to do with the psychology of money. Freedom!

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