We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

I think this is a quote that has a strong resonance today.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

The internet attributes this quote to Winston Churchill, although his official website refutes this. On the other hand, here is a quote (and another source) correctly attributed to him! Anyway, I digress!

The modern world has wrought upon us the need to work and work and work – with less time to actually enjoy the fruits of our labour.  An old study by the UNEP, the Global Survey on Sustainable Lifestyles shows that the youth today, thankfully, do no subscribe to such ideology.  They want just enough so that they can actually enjoy life.  How practical is that in today’s neo-liberalist market-economy?

There is a blog which talks about mindfulness versus this culture of consumerism we have found ourselves enveloped about on all fronts. It is a wonderful article on lives revolving around accumulating money to buy things, a constant desire for more objects – that can only bring about misery once you stop from activities to make money for the time to reflect on life.  Rare is the person who can do both.  This want to remove consumerism from our lives and attain a moment of pause for ourselves has sprouted in people writing about decluttering, going back to nature, and achieving an awareness of self.  You can but a book on decluttering by Marie Kondo – but then again, I’d get the PDF version, books are wonderful things but they’ll just take up space. Ironic isn’t it, even those moments where you want to declutter, go back to your roots, or become spiritual – there is a way consumerism and the neoliberal market economy can get back at you.

Sometimes we have become so desensitized by the way the market economy operates that we forget the plight of the world. We are controlled by this commodification of the others’ sufferings, wants, or even needs (how easy is it to donate online without truly feeling empathy?). Many times we don’t know that we’ve created walls around ourselves with the layers upon layers of technology we use to communicate.  An article on the Guardian talks about how mental illnesses are skyrocketing in neoliberalist UK society – but attributes it to competitive self-interest and extreme individualism. Among the mental illnesses are loneliness.  Ben Shapiro would probably object if the word extreme was not included in that phrase of competitive self-interest and extreme individualism, and I would too as, like his worldview, there has been one change which, much like communism in the USSR, has changed in a society marked by modernism – the introduction of relativism, the marked reduction of the role of the Church and the changing of the moral compass from religion to secular authorities. For those who need help in understanding this, you can read C.S. Lewis’ classic on the topic: Abolition of Man, a solid defense of truth – a universal moral grammar.

Without a universal moral grammar, the act of giving, or charity, would mean little – as the world is destined for a entropic end without no stated purpose  – with no gravitas in right or wrong – your action don’t add to anything that doesn’t exist – a universal Creator.  Which leads me to the way we make life – by giving.  Giving is a form of affirming your belonging in the universe – as part of the whole – a confirmation of the total belief of love for God, the Creator of all things.  No other meaning suffices for charity and the act of giving, as all other meanings rely on the fleeting self. 

The act of giving – not only to yourself, to others, and especially to God is the way we make our lives.  How are we able to live our lives by giving?  I found that the American phrase “pay it forward”, so helpful!  What a great change the world will see if each of us spends a little time to give a little love and charity to those around you – just like in this video:

Well, thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments? God bless!

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