Testimony of Simplicity
» For anything worth having, one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice—no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service. «
John Burroughs, American naturalist and essayist (1837 - 1921)
Over the course of the last decade, a vast majority of Americans pulled out a great, big pair of rose-colored glasses and tricked themselves into believing our financial worth was invincible. We tricked ourselves into believing—regardless of the fact that the value of our money was declining—massive borrowing and spending was acceptable. Somehow, some way, debts would be cleared, McMansion mortgages would be met and keeping up with the Jones’ could be an attainable goal.
Recently, I read a book about Quaker beliefs, and while I am not
myself a Quaker, I was awestruck by their “testimony of simplicity.”
Essentially, what it calls for is the practice of being more concerned with your inner condition rather than outward appearances. Resources, including money and time, should be used deliberately in ways that are most likely to make life truly better for yourself and others.
With economic forecasters reporting that we have not yet found the bottom of the downturn, perhaps our current measurement of success in the aquisition of dollar signs should be altered. Keeping this in mind, perhaps 2009 could be a year to look back at our accomplishments and savor what we have built. So the mantra for 2009? Work hard, because the industry will bounce back and continue to grow far into the future.
However, it’s also time to make efforts to recognize our individual worth—regardless of wallet size. And if our wallet warrants it, we can and should reach out to those who might need a little help in a year that will, in some way, prove to be a tough one for each one of us.