The Spiritual Poverty of Recession

Today I read a short column in this week’s The Week magazine entitled the same as my post. It’s by Gregory Rodriguez from LA Times. It’s a rare occasion when someone pulls out what is all scrambled up inside of me, throws it on the canvas in front of me, and then proceeds to paint those internal feelings and ideas with such form and exactness that I didn’t know they belonged to me until I saw the final work right there in front of my eyes.

Rodriguez writes briefly on how recessions effect people not only in the pocket, but spiritually. He says America’s animal spirits of vitality and optimism have been effected. He says Americans work not merely to survive but in pursuit of better, richer lives, and that recessions “kill that thrill and diminish that joy.” Instead of being innovative we’re trying to survive or hang on, and that we become more obsessed with money when there’s less of it floating around.

I’ve found this to ring so true in my case. There’s a sense of freedom and ease when there’s enough to pay the bills and then have even just the tiniest bit extra. You feel some control and hope and the finances are not a heavy worry on your mind. My two years without a job really has changed everything. Constant survival mode is not conducive to a light mind and spirit that’s free to explore what life has to offer. Constant financial thoughts strain the mind and cause much stress.

However, there is for the positive mind enjoyment of the simpler wonders of life, those which may have been missed or passed over in financially abundant circumstances. These simple enjoyments can connect us back to our base selves, encouraging a spiritual growth within and bringing about a change for the better within each of us.

Our country can be stronger, better but in a good down-to-earth back-to-the- basics kind of way. It all starts with finding the strength of spirit and simplicity within ourselves, which can all start from our shared constraint of money in our lives.

Advertisements