by Nick Andrea
I want to be prosperous. I want to travel, to the holy lands from Jerusalem to India to connect with the ancient mystery there; to Africa to connect with the musical traditions that steal my heart; to Europe to enjoy the leisure, food, and art of Italy, walk the emerald fields and ruins of Ireland, and visit my relatives in Scandinavia.
I want a nice house in a beautiful place, big enough for all my children to have their own space, for my wife and I to have ours, and space for us all to be creative and musical, and to practice the sacred arts of meditation and yoga. I want some land to grow an abundant garden on and to invite beloved friends and community members for block parties and sleepovers.
I want a new car, nothing too fancy – I’m not that materialistic – but something dependable, safe, comfortable to drive, good for the environment and my bank account, and big enough to accommodate my large percussion transporting behavior.
I want to support my children as they grow in body, mind, and spirit, holistically providing for their basic needs so that they have the opportunity to develop their inner genius and have the gift of giving something wonderful to humanity from a place of fullness. I want them to go to good schools and colleges, play sports and be involved in activities that strike their passions, and travel to see the world to gain a broader view of this planet we live on, as I had the opportunity to do as a youth.
I want to be able to purchase the highest quality, local ingredients to prepare healthy meals for myself and my family, for health reasons and to support local sustainability. Doing so at this day in age generally requires abundance. I don’t want to have to “buy cheap” from corporate agro-giants that dehumanize society and denaturalize our world.
And, I want my toys and hobbies. I’m not much of a hoarder, however, I’m a musician and I want to use the finest instruments. It makes a big difference at my level of playing. I’m also a lover of aviation and want to fly little airplanes again, something that is, “good for my soul,” as an old friend once remarked.”
I want to attain the abundance to do and have all this in a way that promotes the same ability for all human beings.
I don’t know how to do that. The profit motive seems to be at odds with meeting the basic needs of all people. Opponents of that view argue that people like Bill Gates should be allowed to amass vast quantities of wealth because they do so much good with it – helping fight AIDS in Africa, climate change, etc.; that the problem is not people being able to amass vast amounts of wealth, but that those who do generally ignore their responsibility to help others with it.
Maybe. But, why play with Pandora’s Box in the first place? Wouldn’t it be better if they put that money towards changing the very way they accumulate that money in the first place? What if their goal were to change the system that allowed people to profit massively off the backs of other, to one that ensured the needs of everyone were met? That, the janitor who works at Microsoft could also travel abroad once or twice a year to visit the places that ignite their passion, not just the senior VPs?
I imagine that, in a more equitable and fair system, the Bill Gates’ of this world will not have to put so much money towards things like AIDS and climate change, problems that directly or indirectly result from the gross inequalities of this world (including also things like education and access to information).
My goal is to live prosperously, and I have some big dreams (at least, I think they’re big). My goal is also to work in a way that uplifts the prosperity of others, because I want to see everybody happy and full, able to pursue their destinies. Not just myself.
And, I don’t have any answers, only questions.