“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. —Albert Einstein
Well, of course greedy people are mentally ill. Who in their right minds would hoard money while others starve? I’m not talking about your grocery money here, I’m talking about the people who amass money as a prize, as a status symbol. Those who have millions upon millions, or even billions, and yet allow poverty, starvation, lack of education, and child labor to continue when they could do something about it, these are the folks I’m addressing. If your neighbor had no money or food to feed her children, I’m sure you would pick up some fruits and vegetables for them. The people who have a thousand fold the money that you do can help people on a grandiose scale and yet, for the most part, they don’t. Or they give a million dollars while keeping 75 million for themselves.
What do these people have in common? Insanity. Their insanity is caused by an irrational fear of lack or, more often, by their ego’s desire for confirmation of their worthiness. To them worthiness equates with financial success. They feel inferior if they don’t hold more material assets than the next guy. It must be hard to compete with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
Let’s face it, this is just insane. To pursue wealth at the expense of your planet is insane. How many billionaires continue to amass money while knowingly poisoning our planet? How many pharmaceutical companies continue to skew research and put deadly and dangerous pills and chemicals on the market to puff up profits. They kill people to make more money.
When a person commits a murder, they are insane, obviously not in their right minds. If they were in their right minds they would react reasonably and with compassion. Yet, when huge corporations kill people en masse, it is called greed, or just plain doing business. It is shrugged off as part of the game. I would submit that the corporate leaders in this world are nothing less than insane psychopaths who know not what they do. Send them all the love you can. Seriously, send them love and see them as the perfect beings that they are so they may know peace and stop the insanity. They need it desperately.
There are a few of these perfect beings who have awoken. These are truly stories of enlightenment. To make money beyond what most can imagine and to wake up to the fact that it does not buy their happiness is truly amazing. The material world is such an incredible seductress. Having a little extra cash for some folks is very exciting. What will we do with it? Take a vacation? Fix up the kitchen? Imagine having a virtually unlimited supply of money. It would be intoxicating. Imagine walking away from it.
John Robbins was heir to the Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Empire. He walked away from it because he saw that it was a destructive and cruel business. His uncle and father, founders of the company, died very young from heart disease related to all the fat and sugar in their product. John found that dairy cows lived a horrendous life, artificially impregnated, their calves taken away at birth, the males either killed immediately or sold to the veal industry, the female calves are saved to lead a desperate life like their mothers, but not allowed their precious mother’s milk so it can be sold for people’s milk, cheese, and ice cream. He saw the destruction to the planet caused by the animal farming industry. He walked away to be true to his personal beliefs and ethics. He is an inspirational writer on living with integrity. His books, Diet for a New America and Food Revolution, are worth the read.
John Robbins, healthy and living with integrity.
Tom Shadyac, who directed such hits as Ace Ventura and Patch Adams, among others, had lots of money. He had homes all over the world, each worth millions of dollars. He had more money than he needed. A bicycle accident that came close to killing him changed his life. He started to realize that your career doesn’t have to be your entire life and that it’s as important to give back as it is to receive. He made a documentary about his transformation called I Am and also wrote a memoir, Life’s Operating Manual. I Am has been avaiable on Netflix recently. He sold everything, now lives in a trailer park (it’s a nice one, but it’s a trailer park), and continues to give all his money to elevate the life of those with less than him. Wow.
Tom Shadyac, a happy guy.
The following is an excerpt from a story in the Christian Science Monitor.
“Scott Neeson’s final epiphany came one day in June 2004. The high-powered Hollywood executive stood, ankle deep in trash, at the sprawling landfill of Stung Meanchey, a poor shantytown in Cambodia’s capital.
Scott Neeson, smiling.
Scott Neeson, a former head of 20th Century Fox International, cares for more than 1,000 Cambodian children and their families. In a haze of toxic fumes and burning waste, swarms of Phnom Penh’s most destitute were rooting through refuse, jostling for scraps of recyclables in newly dumped loads of rubbish. They earned 4,000 riel ($1) a day – if they were lucky.
Many of the garbage sorters were young children. Covered in filthy rags, they were scruffy, sickly, and sad.
Clasped to Mr. Neeson’s ear was his cellphone. Calling the movie mogul from a U.S. airport, a Hollywood superstar’s agent was complaining bitterly about inadequate in-flight entertainment on a private jet that Sony Pictures Entertainment, where Neeson was head of overseas theatrical releases, had provided for his client.
Neeson overheard the actor griping in the background. ” ‘My life wasn’t meant to be this difficult.’ Those were his exact words,” Neeson says.” I was standing there in that humid, stinking garbage dump with children sick with typhoid, and this guy was refusing to get on a Gulfstream IV because he couldn’t find a specific item onboard,” he recalls. “If I ever wanted validation I was doing the right thing, this was it.’ “
Within months, Mr. Neeson gave it all up, sold his fabulous mansion and everything else, moved to Cambodia and has been helping those children ever since. He came to his senses. He is no longer insane.
On some level we all need to come to our senses. What is really important? Is buying yet another piece of clothing really going to make us happy? Is the bigger house and better car going to ring our bell?
Do you want a more enriched and fulfilling life? Will you find it living in a seven million dollar mansion or dining at a five-star Zagat rated restaurant, or wearing the latest designer clothing? That’s one level. Will you find it in your 2,000 square foot home, driving your BMW, and wearing off the rack designer duds? There’s another level.
We can all disassociate ourselves from those bazillionaires and say we can’t do much, but is it true? Can’t we live a simple satisfying life knowing that we are helping others, like the children in Cambodia? Is that worth more to us than a new dress suit or pair of shoes?
Only you can decide how much you want the material world to determine your life. You can buy into the idea that money makes the man (or woman) or you can choose to live a life of integrity and charity. There is one thing you can do no matter how rich or poor you are. You can give love to all. You can offer the gift of seeing people as perfect beings of love to the rich and the poor. You can see yourself as perfect, just as you are, then you won’t need designers deciding how to improve your image. You are magnificent now.
When we know we are magnificent, we won’t need to prove it with baubles.
- I am enough.
- My worth is in my being.
- I love all beings.
- The Kingdom of Love is within.
- My self-worth is inherent.
- I am perfect.
- We are all perfect, we are all one.
Imagine working with Scott Neeson for a day. Imagine living in a very small house or apartment with people you love. Imagine giving to others who need your help. Imagine knowing how perfect you are.