This week most of us will be opening presents as we sit around a beautifully decorated tree in our warm and comfy homes. We will be enjoying the bounty that we have become so accustomed to in this country. We will have plenty of good food to eat, fresh water to cook and bathe with, and more “stuff” than we really need. The sad thing is, many people will feel that the holidays did not live up to their expectations. They will feel deflated and disappointed when it is all over. There is an epidemic of unhappiness in our culture that reflects our poverty of soul.
In other places around the world, poverty and need have lead to wealth of the soul. How can this be? Abundance can lead to poverty of the soul while poverty can lead to abundance of the soul? Sounds strange doesn’t it. Take a look at the following video and consider your life in light of the people of Cateura, Paraguay – people who live their lives atop a landfill.
The people of Cateura seem to employ a different logic about life. Because their resources are so limited they have come to see value in things others have cast away. They have learned to see the potential in what others discard, and then use these things to create something of beauty. They “see” differently and then they “invest” differently.
“People realize that we shouldn’t throw trash away carelessly. Well, we shouldn’t throw away people either.” The people of the Cateura slums have learned to look for potential in trash and in each other. They are creating a beauty that is satisfying their souls. I am fairly certain that they would all wish for lives with greater comfort, but I doubt they would ever envy our glutted view of life or pay much heed to the constant bombardment of cultural messages we so quickly embrace that tell us we aren’t enough and don’t have enough.
This post is simply a message to remind us that true joy does not come from boxes under the tree or more new “stuff.” It does not come from acquiring, but from giving and living from the heart. If we “see” the potential all around us then creatively use it to make beauty – our souls will be satisfied. It is not wrong to have - only wrong to have and not “see” or value what we have. Our lives will fill with joy as we appreciate each thing we have as precious – our clothes, our food, our water, our many many blessings.
Open your eyes this week to all that you have - your belongings and your talents. Consider carefully what you have that has potential waiting in it. Now ponder how to use your creativity to invest part of yourself into it and make some beauty for the world to enjoy. How can you turn your assets and your talents into something more? When you join the best part of yourself to a creative endeavour it adds purpose and meaning to life! I have a friend who makes bracelets to raise money for kids with special needs. I have another friend who makes quilts and pillowcases for people who need encouragement. Another person makes food for the homeless. Yet another refinishes old furniture to help her family financially and to bring new life to old things. So what is your thing? What will you do to make a difference? If you employ “landfill logic” you will be creating Goodness and that will satisfy your soul!
How satisfied are you with life, with what you have? Take a look at Landfill Logic and see if it gives you some new clarity.