Tag Archives: Enrichment

Not Your Own

Redbird's Roost

helper
It is sharing and caring,
Giving and forgiving,
Loving and being loved,
Walking hand in hand,
Talking heart to heart,
Seeing through each other’s eyes,
Laughing together,
Weeping together,
And always trusting and believing
And thanking God for each other…
For love that is shared
is a beautiful thing —
It enriches the soul
and makes the heart sing.
Helen Steiner Rice – “A Touch of Joy”

Never say: “It is nobody’s business but my own what I do with my life.” It is not true. Your life is put in your hands as a trust, for many others beside yourself. If you use it well, it will make many others happy; if you abuse it, it will harm many others beside yourself.
James M. Pullman

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Positive thoughts, Quotations or Citations, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft

Some might think we are

“constantly striving to develop lives of meaning without any outside recourse. The soul is increasingly insulated from the world outside our heads.” {Against Kant and Consumerism}

but today lots of people strive to enrich themselves with material wealth and consider their live worthwhile when they can be more wealthier and better showing off than others. Lots of people think they miss enough money or enough gadgets to enjoy fully life. For many everything seems to turn around the gathering of as much money as possible.

Lots of people do not look for the depth of meaning of life and are not so much interested in the others around them and the influence or necessity of them for them.

thisissueappearsThe American Conservative in the May/June 2015 article speaks about Matthew Crawford his books “Shop Class As Soul Craft” plus “The World Beyond Your Head” and looks at ‘the subtitle to his latest book which promises a look at our “age of distraction“.

The article says:

The premise of Crawford’s book is that our distractedness is merely symptomatic of a deeper cultural defect, a misrepresentation of the self that has permeated our society. He traces this back to Enlightenment philosophy, especially the thought of Immanuel Kant. Enlightenment thinkers of the late 17th and 18th centuries presented a view of the person that contrasted drastically with medieval and ancient thought: they put unprecedented emphasis on the rational individual as separate from society or community. They posited new theories about freedom founded upon reason and self-determination, with epistemological roots in ideas such as Descartes’s famous claim that “I think therefore I am.” Kant believed that knowledge and ethics must necessarily be situated within the mind—that existence must be interpreted through the autonomy of the individual.

The writer thinks

The soul is increasingly insulated from the world outside our heads.

Whereas in the real world, Crawford writes,

“we are subject to the heteronomy of things; the hazards of material reality,”

and continues

what Kant has given us is our modern identification of freedom with choice, in which choice is a “pure flashing forth” of the individual will.

that identification of freedom with choice has been there already from the period of the beginning in the Garden of Eden. Man had the choice either to follow his Creator His Will or to go his own way. Man choose the latter.

Thousand of years later, many think the world around them limits them and nature is to  block  their leg.

dumb nature is understood to be threatening to our freedom as rational beings, it becomes attractive to construct a virtual reality that will be less so, a benignly nice [reality] where there is no conflict between self and world

How many people do not want to be on their own and have the world turning around themselves. For many it is most important that everything turns around their own “I” so that they can say with proud: “I am“.

The associate editor of  The American Conservative Gracy Olmstead writes:

Consumer culture tries to destroy the discomforts and imperfections that are necessarily part of life.

Is not there one of the greatest problems of our present society, which has put most of its hopes on the material things it can require to make its own. It is not that they want to hoard things, but they love to gather all the newest things so that they can show off against others who have to do with older things.

Though the writer of the article finds that modern cars are designed in an insulating and distracting way, we more see them as copies of each other not having any more the specific personality or difference as the cars had in the 1950ies, when each car looked so specific and really could get its fans for one or another model and each model with its own flashy personal colours. to us it looks like that car owners lost the interest to have a car or any other object (clothes, houses) that look very personal and have their won story to tell. People do want all the same and are willing to cue for the latest gadget. Everybody else has to be able to see that they have this or that brand and can afford this or that mobile or i-pad, which has to be of the latest and newest ‘invention’.

Concerning the cars we could agree with the idea the  critic has

Everything within a car is constructed to give a sense of isolation and ease.

When the author would mean that the person who is driving the car would like to have the feeling to being his own world, having his own little world where nobody else around is being part of it. When the music can play loud it does not matter that others can hear it in their bathroom or are whipped out of bed. It is there music and everybody else should have to hear that is the best music to listen to.

Naturally the cultivation of “me-worlds” extends beyond auto-mobile design, but form men this might still be the thing to make their ‘me’, though the i-pad has taken a lot of that place.

Olmstead finds that Crawford spends a good deal of the book arguing that an Enlightenment approach to epistemology leads to narcissism: an understanding of the world that revolves entirely around the self and writes

The narcissist “treats objects as props” and struggles to comprehend them as objects with a reality of their own. The fantasy of autonomy, when full-grown, results in a “project of open-ended, ultimately groundless self-making.” {Against Kant and Consumerism}

Interestingly, Crawford identifies our treatment of others as the root of online narcissism in the age of Facebook:

“We increasingly deal with others through representations of them that we have,” he writes. “This results in interactions that are more contained, less open-ended, than a face-to-face encounter or a telephone call, giving us more control.”

Automobiles, the reviewer says

“can foster circumspection—literally, looking around for others and regarding oneself as an object for others in turn—or a collection of atomized me-worlds.” Our experience becomes ever more “mediated by representations, which remove us from whatever situation we inhabit directly, as embodied beings who do things.”

Throughout the ages the world has received its many distractions. The tools may have changed but the aim and way has stayed the same. Today “virtual reality” allows many to find back lost friends or schoolmates and gives the opportunity to interact with more, and more diverse, people, not fewer and not more homogeneous.

For American society to emerge from the distractions of consumer culture and virtual existence

Ms Olmstead finds

we must look beyond the symptoms and consider the disease: the shroud of individualism that prevents us from fully embracing the real world.

The individuals looking for themselves to acquire as much material wealth as possible have to come to see that they would be better to work at their social contacts spending more time to be with each other in real life than in chat sessions, never going deep in a conversation. For sure we we must

cultivate an awareness of—and love for—the world beyond ourselves.

The Edge Foundation / Flickr

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Preceding articles:

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

Why “Selfishness” Doesn’t Properly Mean Being Shortsighted and Harmful to Others

The I Am to explore

little i

Path/Walk/Sink

Comic: The Last Time I Felt Accepted For Who I Am

Be realistic, do not pretend

The world starts with yourself

Believe in yourself!

Believe in your greatness

Find Inspiration and Follow Your Dreams

Wishy-Washy…

There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

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Additional reading:

  1. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  2. For those who make other choices
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  4. Detroit, A city not to be understood

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Filed under Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

People do like to have things for themselves. Contemporary day gadgets play on the consumer market to win the eyes and greedy hands.

English: Students and scholars can study a wea...

Students and scholars can study a wealth of materials and artifacts available at the Broadcasting Archives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of people are convinced that luck lies in having enough things. Many have put their hope in having enough material wealth. They are convinced having enough money will bring them luck and everything they want. Their head believes material wealth shall bring them peace and heaven on earth.

We would agree that some objects can bring intrinsic joy. We also would agree there are man made things which can serve us to have an easier life.

But, we also want to warn our readers that many man-made things can be utterly dangerous for man and for nature as well. Lots of things man create ruins mother earth. Lots of people do have no respect at all for the environment and  waste a lot of things making it for the generation coming after them, more difficult to live properly in a healthy environment.

May we lift a veil of reality?

Land of Wealth

Land of Wealth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it not better that we are conscious of what we eat and drink and of what we buy and use? Is it not better that we more would ask ourselves: Where is this made under which condition?

Should we not take more notice of the hidden facts?

We all should remember that there are lots of things which seemingly look very attractive, and can tempt us to buy it. But will they contribute to a better life?

Man may make lots of things but not all of those things are good for him. Several things, instead of bringing peace, welfare, bring despair and death.

As Prayson Daniel writes in his blog “With All I Am“:

Those that bring despair and death often promise intrinsic joy and life but deliver despair and death. Fame, sex, and money are objects that often promise intrinsic joy and life. When they serve us, they do deliver what they promised. {Joy in Submission}

Those who continuously look to enrich themselves do not have as such an eye for others; Their interest in themselves.

To make the best of life it is a matter to be able to set yourself, your own “I” at the side.

A joyful living springs from thinking of ourselves less and others more. In such moments where we think of ourselves less and others more, we are supremely joyful. Consider the moment when a loving father meets his newborn or a wanderer sees a sunrise and feels a spark of warm sunrays on her skin after a long and dark winter. In such moments, time stops. Though the quantitative time continues, the qualitative time everlastingly stops. In those joyful moments we reign by serving. We reign through serving by submitting to the moment. Submission is joyful. Supremely joyful. {Joy in Submission}

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Preceding articles:

Summermonths and consumerism

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

Less for more

Less… is still enough

Contentment: The five senses

See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory

Just be yourself…

The natural beauties of life

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Additional reading:

  1. Greed more common than generosity
  2. How we think shows through in how we act
  3. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  4. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  5. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  6. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  7. Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system
  8. Capitalism
  9. Economics and Degradation
  10. Ecological economics in the stomach #1 Alarmbell
  11. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  12. Facing disaster fatigue
  13. Waste and recycling
  14. How long will natural resources last [The InfoGraphics List]
  15. True riches
  16. Count your blessings
  17. Good to make sure that you haven’t lost the things money can’t buy

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Welfare matters

Less… is still enough

On the trash of the wealthy the poor try to survive – People who earn their living by collecting and sorting garbage and selling them for recycling, Payatas, Manila, Philippines.

Less… is still enough!

The facts.
The collective wealth of all the Belgian people is more than 2.000 billion euro (De Tijd). The 10 richest families together own almost half of all that wealth (Knack). Yearly in Europe – and you read it correctly – we throw away 590.000.000 ( five hundred and ninety million) tons of food. 20 % of all young people between 13 and 20 years of age  regularly think about suicide (Enquiry National Youth Service).

Are you still following?
Is each one of us not a prisoner of conventions, caught in material things and that what is on the surface? Are the energy we invest in production and the effort we make in order to consume, not out of proportion?

In the middle of progressive thinking the question arises about what proof we need to realise that some thing or other is getting out of hand? To put it in a different way: what else has to happen to us before we come to an insight ? Usually it is difficult to admit that to have ‘more’ and ‘property’ are addictive. With (a little) less it would become quite difficult for some. For the poor without doubt, because they always live with ‘less’.

Professions without borders
This is a televsion programme in which professional people from here go and cooperate with colleagues in far away countries. At the end of their trip, filled with experiences, each one of them nearly always has the same reaction:

Do we really realise what a good life we have in Belgium”?

Confronted with shortage and poverty, ‘people that have a lot’ get to know the inner side of ‘people with less’. The encounter is very emotional and touching. It is ‘enrichment’ that they receive from these ‘poor’ people. Who helps who?

Someone said it as follows:

“Since I live with less, I do not feel the shortage, but rather have the experience of ‘more'”.

Or less is more … or at least enough!

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Translation from the Dutch / Nederlands origineel: Met minder is… nog genoegBzN-Mov Without a Name-Logo_EN

 

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Additional reading:

  1. Capitalism
  2. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  3. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  4. Luxury
  5. Capitalism downfall
  6. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  7. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  8. European Year for combating poverty spurred mobilisation and commitment
  9. Yad Vashem: Remembering the Past, Shaping the Future
  10. Catherine Ashton on the EU annual report on human rights
  11. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  12. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #1 Up to 21st century
  13. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #2 First two decennia of 21st century
  14. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  15. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #4 The Family pact
  16. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #5 Housing
  17. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #6 Transport factor of immobilising financial growth
  18. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #7 Education
  19. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #8 Work
  20. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  21. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #10 Health
  22. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #11 Participation
  23. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  24. Poverty and measurement
  25. Poverty placed in history
  26. 1985-2012 Poverty in Europe
  27. 2014 Economics
  28. Poverty and conservative role patterns
  29. Ability for a community to come back from a crisis
  30. Bleak forecasts for children in the UK
  31. Violence against disabled children
  32. Anti-Crisis anger calling out
  33. A risk taking society
  34. Securing risks
  35. Green Claims in Europe
  36. A Snippet of Advice on Cultural Analysis
  37. The natural beauties of life
  38. Problems by losing the borders
  39. Migrants to the West #3
  40. US poverty worse than previous recessions
  41. Nearly 50 million poor North Americans
  42. Expanding opportunities for more American families
  43. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  44. Depression Is and When
  45. High time to review the right to keep and bear arms
  46. Your struggles develop your strengths
  47. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  48. From Winterdarkness into light of Spring
  49. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  50. Message of Pope Francis I for the 48th World Communications Day
  51. Pope Francis says Catholics must become evangelisers
  52. Full text of Pope Francis’ Interview with ‘La Vanguardia’
  53. When we love we do not need laws
  54. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  55. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  56. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  57. All I want is peace!!!

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  • The Observer view on London’s wealth gap (theguardian.com)
    Striking new figures show that the proportion of households classified as either poor or wealthy has grown across the country in recent decades, leaving a shrinking middle. But it is in London that the trend is by far the most pronounced.

    London is now a city of contradictions. It is the richest part of the country, but also its most unequal, with the highest levels of poverty. It is home to some of the world’s most expensive real estate, but has the highest proportion of renters of any area of the country, many of whom are locked out of home ownership. It has some of the world’s best teaching hospitals, but suffers from profound health inequalities.

  • The Richest Have Never Been Richer: US Household Assets Rise To Record $97 Trillion (As The Poor Get Poorer) (infiniteunknown.net)
    In Q4 US household net worth jumped by $1.5 trillion to $82.9 trillion, driven by a rise in total assets to $97.1 trillion, even as the long awaited increase in “good debt”, that of mortgage debt, remains elusive and Mortgage debt hasn’t budged from $9.4 trillion in 8 quarters
  • In Europe, Parents’ Dismay as Syria Jihad Lures Troubled Teens (voanews.com)
    As Belgium braces for a verdict in Europe’s biggest trial of those accused of fostering Islamist violence in Syria, much attention is on poor Muslim immigrant communities’ struggle in a region blighted by youth unemployment.

    But for parents in Antwerp, a city on high alert since the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris and police raids on Belgian jihadists, Wednesday’s ruling by judges there may never explain why their two sporty teenagers, with no Muslim heritage, abandoned comfortable homes to take up arms in the Middle East.

  • Thousands of Belgians protest against austerity measures (worldbulletin.net)
    About 10,000 people have gathered in the Belgian capital of Brussels to protest against the center-right government’s “austerity” measures.

    Workers and labor unions said on Wednesday they had been angered by austerity measures being imposed by Belgium’s new center-right government, which include a two-year extension to the age of retirement, cuts in spending on healthcare and delays to the indexation of wages in relation to prices.

    Between 8,000 and 10,000 people attended the demonstration, local media reported, where protesters held banners reading “No Poverty” and fired smoke flares at a square in central Brussels.

    Belgium’s four-party coalition government under Prime Minister Charles Michel, which took office on October 11, has also pledged to cut corporation tax from 33 percent to 25 percent.

  • Poverty in Germany reaches a record high (counterinformation.wordpress.com)
    “Poverty in Germany has not only reached a new record high, it has also threatened the country with disintegration into disparate regions.” Thus begins the annual poverty report of the German Federation of Welfare Associations.

    Although the economy has grown slightly and unemployment is relatively low, the poverty rate in Germany has increased; it has been rising almost continuously since 2006 and now stands at 15.5 percent. This means that about 12.5 million adults exist on less than €845 per month as unmarried persons or less than €1,873 in a family with two children.

  • Many foreigners escape fines on Belgian roads (deredactie.be)
    Xpats.com’s Robyn Boyle says that at present more often than not it’s only motorists from France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg that have to pay a fine, if they commit a traffic offence in Belgium.
  • 2 suspected Islamic recruiters arrested in Belgium (whitenewsnow.com)
    Belgium has been one of Western Europe’s nations to furnish the large numbers of foreign fighters in Syria relative to population size.
  • A Wealth Tax for California? (sandiegofreepress.org)
    California has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s main poverty measure, 16.8 percent of all Californians and 23.5 percent of the state’s children lived in poverty in 2013. Yet it also has the most billionaires  in the country: 111. The state’s 33,900 millionaire taxpayers  (just .2 percent of the state’s taxpayers) have combined incomes of $104 billion. According to the California Budget Project, California has the seventh widest income gap between rich and poor among the 50 states, ranking between Alabama and Texas.
  • Belgian coin spat awakens ghosts of Waterloo for the French (trib.com)
    Belgium is looking to change a commemorative Waterloo coin to an unofficial value of 3 euros ($3.18) to avoid what it called opposition from France. Coining unofficial values do not need backing from other countries in the 19-nation eurozone.
  • Microcredit Today: The Shift from Lending to Savings (mint.com)
    Increasingly, the world’s poor are able to securely borrow small amounts of money through microfinance institutes. This is proving to be an essential element of growth for poor or rural populations and their businesses.

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Economical affairs, Movement Without a Name, Social affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters