I read this morning in my local newspaper an editorial from Frank Bruni who writes for the NY Times. His thoughts explore how we in this country have bent our lives on our own selfishness. After reading his column I would most heartily agree. We have become a nation of 'what's in it for me and no one else'. That is a sad state of affairs.
Then I began to think about a bigger picture within that context. Is he correct in his notions? Yes, but what is the catalyst for those actions? I think one possible cause is too many of us look beyond our own front porch. The grass is always greener so I need to get a piece of that action. How many times have you encountered those who look down at others simply to keep themselves elevated (within their own mind)? Or, I don't have what you have so I will work at tearing you down. My needs come before yours or the common good.
In our culture we have put so much on our plates, or wish to put so much on our plates that we aren't satisfied with the basics. I need to have the next iproduct even though I still can't use the one I have. That car is nicer looking so I want that one. That house is bigger so I need it. How familiar do these silent/public rants sound? How much simpler would our lives be if we quit worrying about what the other person has and simply take care of our own needs?
How much stress do we pile on ourselves simply to have those things that aren't important? I would say 'a whole bunch'. There's nothing wrong with wanting to improve one's position in life. That's what we should all do but what we often overlook is the fact that amassing more 'stuff' is not improving your life, it is simply adding to the chaos and stress. 'Stuff' does not improve ones situation any more than running over your 'neighbor' with your truck because he has more than you.
Take care of what's on your own front porch and don't worry about what the next guy has. 'Stuff' is just crap that will one day end up in a landfill, (as will we all).