Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gobble Gobble Whine Whine

The September assignment for the Carnival hosted by the APLS bloggers (Affluent Persons Living Sustainably) is to write about affluence and what that means to me.

As I started to plan my post, I realized I didn’t know which way to go on this one. Guilt, arrogance, denial, indifference? It was clear that even thinking about the subject pushed a lot of buttons.

Then I took that global money test that’s cropping up on frugal blogs including the APLS site. Whoa. Talk about perspective. I certainly had nothing to complain about. I would be affluent with just a smidgen of what I currently have.

So I kept asking myself the question. What does affluence mean to me?

Then – a small epiphany. Thanksgiving Day without the Macy’s Parade as the answer rolled out in my mind.

I have enough money and …

The kids are healthy. My husband and I have jobs. The cars are paid for. The roof has no leaks. The monthly mortgage invoices don’t scare us. The fridge is full. The toilet works. The water is clean. Our country is free, no matter how much we complain. Through most of our history we have had no fighting on our soil. We have wonder drugs and health care technology that cured my mom, dad and sister of cancer. I value my dentist and my eye doctor. I have a college degree and a library card. I have clothes and a machine to wash them in.

Wow. I am truly blessed. And I say that without a drop of smugness. Because to those to whom much is given, much is expected. To me affluence means I have the time, money and moral obligation to give back.

To volunteer in the community – the arts, hunger, literacy, politics, religious community – wherever the need and one’s skills and interest match up. To do otherwise would be selfish in the deepest sense of the word.

Grateful, thankful, humbled and most of all - responsible is what affluence means to me.


Green Bean said...

Great last line. I strongly believe that we have a moral obligation to give back. We cannot just take, take, take. Isn't that what the sustainability movement is all about. Great post!

Bobbi said...

Thanks! A compliment from the Mistress of Sustainability is always appreciated.