I may have talked about this years ago but it came up again so I will talk again. I was poor, hard scrabble, rolling pennies, going without kind of poor, for a long time. I’m not good at poor, but we did what we had to do. My kids didn’t go hungry but they sure didn’t have much extra.
I don’t know if it was something I read, or something that just developed in my brain organically but I started noticing that people who didn’t have money acted differently that people who did have money. In the current vernacular you would say that they always acted thirsty. Always looking for something. I started noticing my own behavior and began eliminating the behaviors that I didn’t like. I started acting like I had more money than I needed. I also started telling myself “I have more than I will ever need”. I repeated that sentence like a mantra. While those words were reverberating in my head I thought about all the people who didn’t have food, who didn’t have a secure roof over their heads. Who didn’t have options.
I very quickly started noticing changes in myself. I started being so much more grateful for what I had and as that happened I stopped wanting some things. I also became more generous. I gave what I could, when I could and never expected something in return, and whenever possible I did it anonymously.
Our circumstances started changing. New jobs, new incomes, loans started getting paid off. A more spiritual person would say the universe took care of us, but honestly I think it was mostly just coincidence mixed in with a little attitude adjustment. When you believe that you have enough, you don’t feel the need to spend as soon as you get extra money. When you lose that grasping attitude people react to you differently and other opportunities present themselves.
Things are different now because of our collection of diseases, but still, we have so much more than other people. I still give whenever I can, and I would rather give a gift to someone else than buy something for myself, but I am a little more cognizant of my own lack of income again.
I guess my whole point here was that if you spend more time thinking about others, and taking care of people with no expectation of reciprocity you will be happier and more content in your life.