Sunday, May 25, 2008

Detoxifying Our Culture

The Wall Street Journal article The Homeless Billionaire introduces us to a multi-billionaire who doesn't own a home:

After making his billions, Mr. Berggruen, 46, lost interest in acquiring things: They didn't satisfy him, and in fact had become something of a burden. So he started paring down his material life, selling off his condo in New York, his mansion in Florida and his only car.”

Although I don't recommend everyone go out and live like this man, he has something to teach us. I'm reminded that the things we possess in some ways possess us. And that freedom should be more than the freedom to pay for and maintain your stuff.

I liked some of the comments:

All he is doing is looking at things the way we’re supposed to, he’s reversed the human nature of: Have - Do - Be. If I HAD this, I could DO this and I would BE this. He turned it around with the key to happiness. Be - Do - Have. If I AM happy with my circumstance, then I can DO what I want, and then I would HAVE happiness and fulfillment. It’s a very opportunity filled time my friends.”

It seems to me that there are people, no matter how much money they have, who do things for themselves and there are others who still feel an emotional need to let other people know how well they're doing. The first group is happier.”

There is a great wisdom in living with things and not for things, as everything truly does come and go. I'm glad this change in consciousness is affecting even the super rich.”

This article reminds me of an article in Adbusters back in 2001; Toxic Culture. The articles pointed out quite definitely how our materialistic culture is making us sick. Since I can't find a link to it, I scanned the article. Click on the pictures to magnify them to readable size.

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