Quality vs. Quantity of Life…Is Gluttony just part of our cultural norm?

So, since the holidays I’ve had this itch inside my heart which is now surfacing in my head about the quality of life and the REAL things that are important…

family…

love…

peace within the world we live…real global , real cheesy “Miss America type “I want world peace” kind of thoughts…but not items, homes, cars, food, gifts!!!!

So, in my reflection on this, I can’t help but wonder, is this concept of constant want for things that we have in this country, in this pursuit of the all American dream, did we somehow inadvertently sacrifice loosing sight of what the real dream was…

 vs quality of life?

So the idea of a balanced life, is by no means a new concept. Let’s take Hinduism…a religion over 5,000 years old.  In Hinduism, their concept of balance is called DHARMA…of all moral things.

For Buddhists, a 2,500 year old religion, has an * spoked wheel , The Noble Eightfold Path with each spoke representing the following: right view, right thought, right speech, right behavior, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right meditation…this is the wheel of balance in this faith.

So, where am I going with this?  No where in these ancient faiths that guided millions of people, was there any pursuit of stuff / tangible items, so where have we gotten so off track?  I will only assume, Judaism, Islam and Christianity have some similar pursuit of balance in life, or guide for their followers, as well.

Is this an American thing?  I’d assume no, I see hundreds of tourists in the malls everyday from all over the world, and they are no doubt shopping for STUFF, taking THINGS back home. 

Am I the only one frustrated by this rat race for stuff, things, and missing the quality?  My nephew mistakenly opened a christmas gift earlier than christmas this years, and was disappointed … he opened the present and said, “Awww, this is not what I asked for…”, with genuine and utter disappointment.  I was devastated when  I heard this story…now to his credit, he is only 5 years old and an only grandchild (on both sides and has literally, 9 aunts and uncles local).  So  I take some responsibility in spoiling him, but I was truly bummed that this was his honest response.  Where did we lose the excitement of any gift or gesture, where did we decide holidays are about things, stuff and not the simple value of family and friends celebrating life together, with so much to be thankful for?

Again, I ask, is this an American cultural thing, tied to capitalism or the chase of the American dream?  In my limited European travels, I did not get the impression it’s about stuff..homes, condos, cars, or clothes, but perhaps you cant grasp or gather these this concept while on vacation.  Does the simple fact that malls are not as prevalent in Spain, France or Italy (where I’ve traveled), as you see here in the states say something to our wants?

What’s your perspective, where you live, what do you see as what people value in their lives …is it QUANTITY (of stuff/ things) or QUALITY of life balance?

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