Ok first off,
Not only as a nation/country do we have physical poverty, but we suffer more from spiritual poverty.
We see the homeless person on the side of the road, do we give and feel good, or do we scoff?As Buddhist we hopefully give with a willing and compassionate heart.
Being Buddhist doesn't mean living the buddhist lifestyle when people are watching, but doing it when no one is around, random acts of kindness, etc.
Poverty is a subject at this time that many people fear.
With the news of the market going down, down, down, and now starting to go up, with our national bailout program, Nationalization of some banks, foreclosures, job losses, all add up to the FEAR of poverty.
We are the richest nation in the country. Period.
Yet we are the most unsatisifed. Hence Retail Therapy, Bigger houses, credit card debt, etc.We tend to spend externally, to heal internally. Reconnect for just a moment, if possible.
These are times that require us to re evaluate our life. Do we need more?
Or do would it be wise to embrace what we have, no matter how little in our eyes?
If you are going to shoppe, which I assume we will, since we all do: then go to this
website please It is called a Good Cause.com.Go shopping - and make the world a better place!Shop from this page, and your purchases will automatically support all aGoodCause.com organizations. The designated donation amount will be split equally among all organizations affiliated with aGoodCause.com
So when you do shoppe this is a great way to make a difference~
Here are some great perspectives on attachment to things:
For The Holidays instead of buying new gifts, why not let your circle of family and friends know you are going to give your "favorite Items" as gifts. The items you own that you couldn't bear to live without. Or at least would miss. It is a great way to let go and learn about attachment.
Ask them to do the same, or at the very least, have a party and ask everyone to bring their favorite items for gifts.. Wrap them in newspaper, magazine paper, used gift bags, etc.
Instead of buying the latest book or purusing the bookstore for another great buy, go to the library. Look upon the library as your very own resource to any book at any time.You can look up the books you want online, put a hold on them, then go pick them up!
You can even renew them online. And if you really fall in love with the book and find it is a great reference for you, then you can always buy it used online (amazon.com, half.com, etc).
Clear out your closets. If you haven't worn or used items that are necessity's in one year, then it's time to let them go. Give them to a worthy cause, and you can even get a tax write off!
More importantly doesn't it make sense to let go of what you aren't using? So another may use them???
Every time you buy something, donate something. We have a rule that if something comes in the house, then something goes out.
For the holidays donate your time to a soup kitchen, toys for tots, meals on wheels..Who knows, you may want to continue and do it into the new year!
Give even when you think you can't. It is a illusion to think we have nothing to give. It may just be a ear or shoulder to lean on, but we all have something to give
In Buddhism, it is a staple of our belief that compassion, understanding and giving are a part of our daily life (hopefully!).
Start a blog on Poverty, whether spiritual, physical or both, and get your friends to add comments. Be The change you wish to see.
Get involved online! So many organizations that you can join. Just google them for non profit and poverty
Join a Sangha, or group that meets your spiritual needs. And go to it weekly. Make a commitment to try it for three months, and see if you are the change you wish to be!
Next time you see the homeless person on the side of the road asking for money, give. It is not what they do with it, it is that you cared and had compassion for someone who is truly suffering and you could make a difference.I do and have for most of my life. And when I am with someone who is resistant, I say that could be us. We are no better nor worse then a fellow human being.
So join us in trying and being part of the change. Changing requires opening ones heart, and mind and seeing we are all truly connected.