January 22

To be upset over what you
don't have is to waste
what you do have.

Ken Keyes, Jr.


Today's Meditation:

Sometimes I feel that there are more things that I would want to have.  The feeling often comes after I've read a magazine with lots of ads, or watched a television program--also with lots of ads.  It seems that in our world today, almost everyone is trying to get us to be dissatisfied with what we have--even our friends who have just bought the latest, greatest thing and who think we should have it, too.

But I really do have plenty.  I have enough food to eat, enough money to pay for shelter, enough work to do to keep me interested and busy. . . and enough material things to keep satisfied the part of myself that likes material things.  In fact, I actually have more than I need, and some things that I have, I never use because I simply don't have enough time to use it all.  Even so, it's easy to see something that I don't have and want it still, even further neglecting that which I have because I desire to have something else. 

It helps me to see the people and things I have as gifts-- wonderful gifts that I'd be quite silly to neglect.  Why do I need new friends if I don't spend time with those I have?  Why do I need new books when I haven't read the ones sitting in my bookcase?  And more importantly, why should I lose my peace of mind simply over things that aren't a part of my life, but that I think should be?

There are going to be plenty of things in life that we don't have.  That's fine.  The trick is to recognize and appreciate those things that we do have, so that we spend less time being upset and much more time feeling satisfied and at peace. 

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things that you have do you not use often?  Why don't you use them?  Do you need to have them if you don't use them? 

What purpose does getting upset serve? 

If there's something that you don't have but really want, is it better to get upset about it or to start planning how to attain it?

For further thought:

One is not rich by what one owns, but more by
what one is able to do without with dignity.

Immanuel Kant


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