Traditionally Thanksgiving is the time of year when we take stock of what we have and express gratitude, however, this year there are many who feel they have little cause to be thankful. Despite ongoing economic hardships, most Americans still enjoy disproportionate material wealth when compared to the rest of the world.
The American standard of living is the envy of the world. Most live very comfortably, yet most are clearly dissatisfied. Most of us, even the unemployed, have more material comforts than we did a century ago, yet our dissatisfaction persists.
We should be striving for happiness not wealth, we should be striving for health not possessions. Happy people not only feel better they are more creative and more productive. The way to happiness is through meaning and we find meaning by working together on common goals.
Perhaps we need to think beyond ourselves and our material comfort, perhaps we need to consider the welfare of others. The best way to assist others is to work for the welfare of earth, so that future generations can breathe clean air, drink potable water and have enough to eat.
The future is uncertain, but clearly material wealth is not the panacea many perceive it to be. There is certainty in our efforts to assist others, there is certainty in our efforts to protect the earth from the ravages of climate change.
We can create a better, more compassionate world–a world where we care about each other and the planet on which we all depend.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
Black Friday 2011 Saw a Big Year-Over-Year Spending Increase
Retailers Incorrectly Expected Frugal Holiday Buying on Black Friday 2011
Video: Retail Shopping from a Sustainability Standpoint
Video: Sustainable Shopping
Video: The Story of Stuff
New Methods of Manufacturing and New Patterns of Consumption
Thanksgiving Shopping: Consumption and the Earth’s Carrying Capacity
Thanksgiving Shopping: From Black Friday to Green Tuesday
Thanksgiving: Living in Harmony with the Planet