Prosperity

We all want prosperity.

When we say that, what exactly is it we want?

Some starting pointers from the Oxford Dictionary:

  • Prosperity (n). a state of being prosperous; wealth or success.
  • Prosperous (adj.) 1 successful; rich 2 flourishing; thriving 3 auspicious
  • Prosper (v.) 1 succeed; thrive 2 make successful.

Maybe it would be better to say we all want to prosper. We all want to succeed; we all want to thrive.

I suspect that most of us dream about the getting rich side of prospering.

There is nothing wrong with aspiring to be rich, but that’s only one aspect of the state of being prosperous. Mind you, being rich enables you to do a lot more things than being poor, so it’s understandable that we want to be richer than we are.

I think there is more to it than becoming rich.

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What about flourishing as a person? What might that mean beyond or apart from having a healthy bank balance? What about healthy relationships? What about well-being and good health – physically, mentally and spiritually?

In a way, prosperity is about feeling good about yourself and being able to enjoy what this world has to offer.

If we think about prosperity as success, we can see that it’s much more than just having a lot of money. Most of us know that’s only one kind of success. We know that we can enjoy success in many aspects of life beyond accumulating money.

Maybe you can get that sense of prosperity simply by feeling happy with your lot. Maybe it comes from being in a loving relationship. Maybe it comes from living in communities where we respect each other or living in societies where everybody gets a fair go.

When you expand your definition of what prosperity means for you, as in the above examples, you start to see that there are no limits to prosperity. You start to understand that your prosperity adds to the prosperity of all and does not subtract from the prosperity of others.

If there is one thing I’ve learnt in life, it’s you can’t get what you want by focusing on what you don’t want.

If you want to experience more prosperity in your life, decide what prosperity means for you, and devote your energy to creating more of that. That’s what I’m doing.

4 drivers of crime

Crime fiction explores personal motives, like revenge or jealousy, to explain why people commit crime. But what’s driving real crime?

Four drivers to consider:

  • Poverty
  • Lack of respect
  • Greed
  • Lack of political courage

Poverty

You only have to look at the socio-economic demographic of the incarcerated population 2013-02-04 10.36.20to know this is true – if you’re brave enough to do that research.

The average cost of housing a prisoner in Australia is $292 per day or $106,580 per year, according to a recent Productivity Commission report. No doubt the costs are similar in similar jurisdictions across the western world.

It seems we can find the money to lock up the poor in our prisons but we can’t find the money to seriously address the causes of poverty in our societies.

Lack of respect

  • Lack of respect for women.
  • Lack of respect for children.
  • Lack of respect for minorities.

Why are there protests against rape and the failure to address it seriously in so many countries?

Why are we having enquiries into the sexual abuse of children?

Why is there a need for a #blacklivesmatter movement?

Why is domestic violence only now becoming part of the political agenda?

Respect does not have a dollar cost but it does require that we see each other as equal human beings.

Why is that so hard?

Greed

48This is the real reason why we all had to suffer the consequences of the so called Global Financial Crisis. This is the real reason why we are facing what Al Gore told us was the inconvenient truth of global warming. Most of those responsible don’t have a criminal record.

The reverse side of one person’s greed is the impoverishment of many. Think about the leaders of industry who pay themselves millions and their workers the basic minimum wage. What do you think the consequences of that are?

One term used to describe it is the working poor – people with full time jobs whose incomes fall below the poverty line in their society. You wouldn’t think it would be possible in some of the richest nations on earth – but it’s a reality for millions. Remember Mitt Romney’s comment on the 47% who wouldn’t vote for him?

Lack of political courage

Lack of political courage at both a national and personal level.

Politicians don’t want to rock the boat in a world of patronage, where taking the courageous stand will cost them their job. All political parties rely on ‘donations’ to survive.

Governments want to be re-elected. Everyone in government enjoys the trappings of power.

As individuals, we’re all looking after our own interests.

We have forgotten that we are part of a community.

Closing thought

The golden rule – ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’ – can be traced back to two commandments Jesus gave to his disciples:

  • Love one another.
  • Love your neighbour as yourself.

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There’s is nothing in the intention of the golden rule about screwing one another – either literally of figuratively.