by Joan Sotkin
A few years ago, I attended a non-denominational
church that was very focused on prosperity. They
hosted prosperity seminars and sermon topics often
revolved around prosperity. Tithing 10% of earnings
was touted as a prosperity tool and the pitch for
funds was hard core.
Prosperity, as defined by traveling seminar leaders,
meant having lots of money and material rewards.
The promise was that if certain prosperity principles
were followed, money would follow.
their prosperity education most members of the congregation
were not comfortable financially. The 10% of their
earnings they struggled to give the church caused
more pressure than cash flow and few ever felt they
you have read the material on Prosperity Place,
then you know that my definition of prosperity has
more to do with how people feel than what they own.
Longing and desire for more rarely coexist with
satisfaction. It seems to me, that being satisfied
is part of the prosperity equation, and money is
not necessarily the key to satisfaction. There are
many people who have lots of money and still feel
empty, deprived and unfulfilled.
a bit concerned by what seems to be a cultural obsession
with having more of everything. Bill Gates, Warren
Buffet and other ultra-rich individuals are often
idealized because of their ability to amass large
sums of money, huge houses and anything money can
buy. Advertising reinforces our "need"
for energy hungry cars and a dazzling array of gizmos
a result of our perceived need for so many things,
the majority of Americans are deeply in debt, paying
today and tomorrow for yesterday's purchases and
using up planetary resources in the process. Debt
and prosperity do not go hand in hand.
think we are reaching a point in our history when
we have to become more conscious about what we do
with our individual resources. Somehow, I have a
problem with someone building a $50 million house
(as Bill Gates is doing) when there are people living
in cardboard boxes. It matters to me that nature
is being depleted as people attempt to satisfy their
emotional needs with things.
basic spiritual tenet is that we are all one being
expressing itself in myriad ways. By caring only
for our individual accomplishments, we cannot connect
to our greater self, which is one infinite being.
By selfishly accumulating goods and financial energy,
we deprive ourselves by not reaching or knowing
our full potential.
a paradox that in order to experience individual
freedom and abundance we have to connect to the
collective consciousness of humanity. When we realize,
even if only intellectually, that we are one, then
we will care that many are deprived while relatively
this point, I don't know if it is possible to come
up with a comprehensive solution that will lead
to a more equitable system. But it is possible to
set an intention to develop a new paradigm. Instead
of blindly accepting the living standards defined
by the advertising community, we can begin to dialog
about alternatives. We can also make genuine inner
satisfaction a goal and learn to appreciate what
we have, not long for what we don't have.
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