I came into this world not chiefly to make a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU from Walden
We must have bad in order to have good. We must have darkness to have light, ugliness to have beauty, injustice to have justice, sadness to have joy, despair to have hope, hatred to have love, injury to have forgiveness. Choose to live life in acceptance of all of it – good and bad. Making this world a better place to live happens when we serenely accept life on life’s terms.
Grant me the serenity to accept that which I cannot change, courage to change that which I should change and the wisdom to know the difference.
Those who know they have enough are truly wealthy – LAO TZU
The old cliché, “the only difference between men and boys is the size (and cost) of their toys,” rings soundly as I sit on my front porch watching traffic heading to the marina to launch into the Homosassa River and the Gulf the boats being pulled. A few are modest older model pickup trucks pulling equally modest boats, but most are sleek, brand new powerful Fords and Chevys towing a mini-yacht that could house a small family in comfort. Certainly they are a far cry from the sandbox trucks and bathtub boats we little boys enjoyed years ago while growing up.
And I sincerely do not begrudge their showy big-boy toys. But, I also do not understand how some of us grew up to be content with the small toys in life while others were driven to bigger, better, shinier and more powerful. Driving 18-wheeler coast to coast and north to south during the 1990s into 2009, we encountered frequently a fellow trucker keying up on his CB radio with a harsh crackle and a booming “Breaker, breaker 19. Anybody got a copy on this here radio-o-o-o-o. C’mon back-k-k-k”
Undoubtedly, folks two states away had a copy on this driver’s echoing master-blaster CB radio. It was annoying and totally worthless for anything other than a showy display of strength and power. My driving partner, a man not known to mince words, would reply, “yeah hand, we have a copy on your radio and we’re so glad you’ve finally found a big toy to compensate for your other small equipment.”
Worked every time. Spitting and fuming just momentarily that radio then went silent. That usually happened; however there were times when a profanity laced, violence threatening discussion ensued about equipment size as boys and men will often do.
It’s all about ego, isn’t it? If the poor man with a shabby little rowboat feels less worthy than the man towing his $250,000 yacht with an $80,000 pickup truck, then that poor man has an ego problem. If the rich man with the big toys feels better than the man with a little rowboat, then he also has an ego problem, doesn’t he?
A healthy ego along with balanced self-esteem teach us that blessings are not dependent upon wealth or possessions. Your toys, no matter how large or expensive, are no better than my little dinghy with oars. What is important is the level of self-worth your toys give to you or detract from me. Simplicity is all about mind-set and priorities. Even more, it is about living joyously day-to-day this mystery called life and disallowing the external forces of consumerism and consumption to call the shots. 🙏