Ode Magazine, something I look forward to every month, has an article entitled “Reflections on The Generous Life”- an antidote to the massive consumerism that infects the world at this time of year.
For 30 years, most of us in the Western world have been having a party. We have been encouraged to be self-sufficient and independent, to become successful and rich, to search for true happiness and find “the real us.” We’ve been encouraged to buy our own homes, invest in shares, become entrepreneurs, travel the world and borrow as much money as we liked to consume “things” that upon cool, calm reflection we didn’t really need—or use. We have been cleverly and ruthlessly advertised and marketed at to buy a lifestyle rather than get a real life. We thought we had it all.
But now, the world is not in a happy state—and neither are most of us. We are nationally, corporately and individually bust, owing unimaginable trillions that would make our more prudent forebears groan with disbelief and which will take our children decades to repay.
I think it is time to change the world, for every one of us to wake up and decide that we, as individuals and in groups, can tackle the challenges our society faces. We can all become leaders and authors of change by living more generous, proactive lives, by inspiring each other and by setting an example for our friends and our children.