The world actively advertises the benefits of indulgence. The link between happiness and indulgence, greed, and consumption is obvious. The connection in taking from relationships what one needs is accepted and encouraged. Responsibility, accountability, and maturity is often soften, everyone needs to be loved.
There are two responses to the world’s pull. First, there is condemnation. It just isn’t good, can’t be. Every bit of happiness is to be avoided. Evil lurks in smiles, laughter, and fun.. The conflicts shows up between generations, “conservatives” versus those who are not, and even in the “spiritual” versus anyone who doesn’t accept the narrow point of view.
There is a second response which deserves more consideration and attention. As we walk along together, the community which includes us all, we can recognize, understand, and appreciate the impact of our decisions, choices, and actions. I realize this is long winded statement. I am suggesting we take a larger, more holistic view of the world around us.
Indulgence extracts a toll from the people involved. Greed comes at a price. Excess consumption destroys limited resources. I believe the primary responses to indulgence’s costs should be sadness, compassionate action, and positive modeling. Included in this three step approach is recognition of the wonder and beauty within us all, accountability for the results of our hands, a willingness to engage in the lives of fellow travelers, and a commitment to be a personal example.
Change will come with this response. It begins from the inside moving outwards. It is founded on the value in our lives. Our value has and is defined by God. Divinity says we are priceless. With time, trust, and Divinity’s help, “before you know it, and without you having anything to do with it, wasted Lebanon will be transformed into lush gardens, and Mount Carmel reforested. At that time the deaf will hear word-for-word what's been written. After a lifetime in the dark, the blind will see. The castoffs of society will be laughing and dancing in God, the down-and-outs shouting praise to The Holy of Israel.” (Isaiah 29.17-19)
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