A friend was telling me about her trip to Venezula. How beautiful it was. I asked her if she questioned why we give up all those things that make us happy. (“things” is described as emotions that give us the most pleasure and create serenity in all levels of existence) Sure, we have a home, a nice car, a great family, and we can go anywhere in the world for vacation. We can also go shopping and pick up almost anything we want at any time. Recession? Sure but has it stopped our materialism?
She hesitated to answer, but you could see that it carried some ring of truth. I’ve always wanted to live in the country, grow my own vegetables. (I’d have to become a vegetarian simply because I don’t see me killing Bambi or Elsie). Imagine opening the door to a vista as far as you can see. But could I really give up my electricity, my freedom to come and go, or the ability to buy Prada? It’s been over 30 years, and I haven’t yet.
She told me a story of a local who brings his son to the river every day. “My son and I come here every morning. We catch enough for dinner and maybe a little more to sell, and we go home. The next day we come back and catch enough for dinner and a little more to sell”. He teaches his son the value of honest work and simplicity. They don’t shop at the mall and I can only imagine the differences between our homes. It is what they know and they seem content.
A good life!
I just remembered the trip my mom took to South America many years ago. She stayed with friends who were “wealthy”. When they arrived at the home, they found the brother shot. Seems the story of a wealthy white woman from America pushed a few buttons. The story continues with mom and friends staying inside the house with everything locked tight. They had to stay on the inside so the bullets wouldn’t pass through the walls. The lights had to be turned off so they wouldn’t be found and shot. Imagine sitting in the middle of a jungle, in the dark and all you can hear are shots cutting through the darkness. I wonder if those men who shot the brother ever went fishing with their father?
A good life?
Do we define happiness or does happiness define us?