Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On the message of spending

In the media I often hear this message about getting out there and spending money. In general, I find it to be an insulting and miss-directed message. People are being laid off, they are losing their homes and then the media, ultimately, blames them for the economic situation with the absurd claim that they are supposed to be spending money. How? What money? People (be it individuals, businesses, governments) have been spending money they didn't have for decades and now it is catching up with all of us.

The most important message of the moment is the idea that we have been neglecting our spiritual needs, thus creating a feeling of emptiness (some kind of hole that needs filling) and we have been trying to fill that hole with 'things'…materialism; if any thing it is time for us to step away from that. It is time for us to learn to live simply; simply learn to live. And it is time for us to each get acquainted with the self and our individual spiritual needs, or if you prefer, the needs of our spirit (the genuine self).

I am also laid off and see no ‘job’ prospect, which is why I started this blog in the first place. Depressing? Yes! And that is fine. It was okay for me to take a few days to feel sorry for myself but in all, I do have a roof over my head and food in my belly. I won’t bother posting what I don’t have…what I’ve learned to live without, but I do have my old computer and internet. I have friends and family and communication. And I have one aspect of ability that I have worked very hard to try to develop, one passion that I could not justify spending time on because I was supposed to be out in the world generating money, working at some job some place to prove something to someone somewhere. I have neglected writing since graduating university. It is what many university graduates do…they graduate and look for a job and end-up doing something that has nothing or little to do with the area of study which meant enough to them to keep them going through the four to seven or more years it has taken to earn their degrees. What, ‘Reality’ sets in?…how sad. I am kindly lifting the guilt, for not making and spending money, off of my shoulders and I am working at getting to writing; to get doing the thing that inspired me to be able to endure seven years in that learning institution.

And okay, this may seem like a ‘privileged’ example. What about the people who, life being what it was at the given time, felt a need to take that factory job, make money so they could live and so they could spend money? The difference is slim. I am not, nor have I ever been ‘privileged’ in the financial sense. I am the first university graduate from my blue-collar family (outstanding school loans, past due). My brother is laid off after 21 years of working in a factory. He had ‘goals’ which he misplaced by labeling them as ‘dreams.’ When I learned about his lay off I suggested that it could be a blessing in disguise. He readily agreed with me. He has severance pay and training services available. Should he be spending his money right now? No! He should be taking time to digest the idea that his life has taken a new direction, getting in touch with himself, acknowledging the possibilities. It’s time to be creative, think outside of the box, and see the new. Winter feels long but spring always comes.

I was speaking with a very dear friend the other day, and as is true with many people right now, our conversation turned into talk about the economic situation. I told her, I feel that something positive is going to come from all of this mess; however, I didn’t explain myself. Now I have.

Positive thoughts = Positive energy


  1. This post, at this moment in my life, was the exact thing that I needed to read. You really have no idea...

  2. My dear friend,
    Your words matter so much to so many...what a great expression of what we are all feeling right now. When times seem dark, as they almost always do in the frigid mood of February, I like to think I can maintain a positive outlook. Perhaps I am in need of a little "self-searching"...your thoughts have rekindled a passion that I once knew to be found in the prowress of my pen. Thank you, thank you...not making that "job fair" really IS a good thing afterall...

  3. Thanks for posting that piece. It reminds me how incredibly fortunate I am. Some days, I'm overwhelmed by it. But always, I am reminded that gratitude is my central focus.

    When I awake each morning, I make a mental list of all the people, things, and situations for which I am grateful. It helps put things in perspective -- especially on a day like today when I was flossing between two impermanently cemented crowns in the front of my mouth, when one popped out. It narrowly missed the heating vent in the floor by mere centimeters.

    I'm grateful for the fact that I already have an appointment with the dentist for tomorrow afternoon. :) I'm also very grateful to have insurance to pay for a portion of it. And, most of all, I'm grateful that I can laugh at myself and funny (nearly stressful) situations.

    Keep up the superior blogging!

  4. Thank you LML and Deb, for stopping by and for leaving such nice comments. I will do my best to keep the posts coming.

    I am greatful to you all for stopping by and for leaving word. (The thanks is also extended to to Micheal, whose comment has disappeared...I don't understand why or where it went)

    Have a fantastic day!

  5. Edith, I find it hopeful and encouraging to read comments about positive energy at a time when many are troubled over economic issues. And I have seen it on many blogs in recent days. I suppose I hadn’t given much thought to people in Canada going through the same as people in the U.S., although I have known that the world economy is affected. Myself, and several people I know, have felt optimistic about our current situations; that there is a bigger picture at play here...a much needed swinging of the pendulum, a change of energy. I personally believe that our new president and vice president will play a big role in change, and hopefully world wide change. The last eight years have been an embarrassment for our country...and our position in world standing. Hopefully respect will come back. People everywhere seem to be searching for spiritual understanding.

    You said, “And it is time for us to each get acquainted with the self and our individual spiritual needs, or if you prefer, the needs of our spirit (the genuine self).”

    That’s what it is all about. Change begins within, with self.....and then it grows.

    On my study wall, I have a quote by Joseph Campbell (1904-1987), which applies to many areas of life. He said, “We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”


  6. Linda, I was just getting ready to go out (to meet up with my son who is moving away from home on Monday to travel to the other side of the country for work...but that's another blog) when i heard my email sing with a message. Your post is so appreciated that i had to take the time out to say thank you for visiting and thank you for your words. I've had a difficult day but am hard hold to the positives. I needed this.