Thursday, September 15, 2011

Keep It Simple

Caddo Lake on Drizzly Morn
Uncertain, TX

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau 

For many of our generation, success is often measured by the accumulation of things. This measurement fails to account for our personal happiness and our physical well being. Suppose you have lots of stuff but have spent years of abusing your body to the point of ill health, are you truly successful? What if you have spent a life time accumulating but have neglected spending time with your family and friends are you successful? What if you have everything that you could want or imagine, but you feel no joy are you successful?

Please don't misconstrue my appreciation for money and for those that have accumulated money, but I find myself realizing the trap that I have personally dug for myself. My personal stress and my current "job less" situation, have forced me to revisit my definition of success. I ask myself what I want most and the answer comes up freedom to do what I want not what I have to do. Our credit crisis is driven by what we want and not by what we need.

During my travels these past ten years through out Mexico, I've always been fascinated by how happy cab drivers in Mexico appear to be. They all have less than me but they seem to be content with the fact that they provide for their families and have plenty to eat. The same holds true for many of the people I have met in the local towns and smaller cities of Mexico. Children are happy, people meet and greet each other and embrace the mornings and the church bells call to worship and celebration. The simple life has rewards beyond cash.

Please consider what Thoreau meant when he said: "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." Your ability to walk away from stuff is what measures your true wealth. Do your possessions own you or do you own them? This truly is the root cause of our global credit crisis.

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