I don’t think that’s how life should be

We better pause and think… What are we doing here? What is life? Did we come here to work, make money, buy, consume, and accumulate? Is this the main purpose in life? Is this what life is supposed to be? Apparently it is, since human beings — the vast majority, at least — spend more time working and acquiring stuff than in any other activity.

Well, is this, then, the right way to spend our lives?

What do you think?

I believe we can live better lives by engaging in the process of exploring and trying to figure out what the ultimate purpose of life is. I believe we can live better lives by organizing ourselves to live on this planet in gentler ways. I believe that, to begin with, we must learn to be mindful of the world around us, and notice the beautiful garden and wonderful playground in which we live. By doing so, we will be constantly amazed by the magic, mystery and miracles that surround us, and this will develop in us a sense of immense appreciation and gratefulness for these gifts that were freely given to us. This awareness will open up the doors for a new realm where we will live much more joyfully.

But in order for us to manifest this new way of living, we will have to abandon some of the old ideas that we have always accepted. We will have to take a good look at those beliefs that are deeply ingrained in our minds and that we have never questioned, such as our beliefs about work and success. So, let us do that for a few moments.

We were brought up to believe that we must work hard and accumulate material wealth. Unconsciously, we feel that if we are not working hard, we are violating some sort of sacred or moral principle, and are, therefore, committing a transgression, a highly reprehensible offense.  But is this so? Should we feel as if we have sinned because we haven’t worked really hard? Should we feel that we have failed in life if we haven’t amassed great wealth? We have to pause and question our obsession with hard work, consumption, and accumulation. We have to ask ourselves, “Do I really need to work as much and as hard as I do? Do I need to consume and accumulate as much as I do? Do I need to have so many possessions? Is it right to generate so much waste as I do?”

It is also important to consider some fundamental questions, such as, “Who am I? Is my individual value determined by what I do and what I have? Am I what I do? Am I what I have? Am I a human-doing and a human-having, or am I a human-being?” These are important reflections because they can lead us to rethink who we are, what we do, and the ways we have organized ourselves to live on this planet.

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“Our excessive possessions (and obligations) are not making us happy. Even worse, they are taking us away from the things that do. Once we let go of the things that don’t matter, we are free to pursue all the things that really do matter.”

“Sometimes, minimizing possessions (and obligations) means a dream must die. But this is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, it takes giving up the person we wanted to be in order to fully appreciate the person we can actually become.”

~ Joshua Becker, The More of Less

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Consider the following: we don’t even think about it, but today we are conditioned to work, make money, and exchange that money for goods and services. But what will happen when the demand for labor dwindles? As we all know, technology and machinery are replacing human labor, and if the need for human work shrinks down considerably, or even eventually disappears, the possibility of exchanging work for money may also shrink and disappear. What will happen then? Will the reduced need for human labor create a situation where a vast contingent of human beings will find themselves unable to find work, and, therefore, unable to earn money, unable to provide for themselves and their loved ones, unable to survive?

Since we are moving to a new reality where the demand for human work will diminish, we better start thinking of new ways we can collaborate to create a new world society where everyone will have all their basic needs met, independent of work. Let us envision a new global social arrangement where everyone will work less and enjoy life a lot more. Let us bring about a new society where  everyone will have more time to pursue their dreams, do what they love, and help others.

I believe this is possible.

I believe that there is great abundance in this world, and that there is more than enough for everybody to live good lives. I believe that if we develop new social arrangements based on a deep sense of solidarity, we will bring about a new reality where everyone will be able to live with dignity and without the fear of not having enough. In fact, I believe we can, for good and forever, completely eradicate this damaging fear.

I believe that if we reach a deep understanding of the real purpose of life, we will develop the ability to control our selfishness and greed. This will allow us to create a whole new world where all sentient beings will be properly taken care of. I believe we have all the means and resources necessary to take care of all people in the world, and for everyone to have dignified and thriving existences. I believe we have all the means necessary to support every child and young adult during their formative years, and that we can mentor them to follow their dreams, engage in careers that match their talents, and do what they love. I believe we can support them to be the best that they can be, so they may be able to give their best contributions to the world.

I believe that if we remain open to consider new possibilities, we can create a better world for all. I believe that we will find out that Heaven is here, if we want it to be!

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What are we doing here? What are we being here? Which is the right question?

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