I was riding down the road the other day and I saw a homeless person with two overflowing shopping carts. It isn't the first time that I've seen this. Each time that I see this it sends my mind racing. I think about the nature of us all. It seems that very few of us are wired to just have a little and be content. We always strive for a little more in life. Some of us are collectors, some are traders others are somewhere in between. What is it in us that strives for more?
The strange thing about the homeless person was to me it seemed easier to be homeless without so much to carry. When you repeat that in your head it doesn't sound right. So overlooking the fact the person is homeless, I am thinking they have too much useless clutter and should just drop the excess. It was a different kind of clarity moment for me. For I've had the same clarity moment when I see a person of wealth fill their house with clutter until their coffers run dry. But that person has a house. Something that is a basic need for every human.
When we think of excess, we think of the very wealthy having so much that it waterfalls over sanity. I also think of most that live pay check to pay check continually caught in a vicious cycle of wanting more. In all three extremes, there is no balance. There is no peace of mind, peace within. The homeless woman caught me off guard because you could see that having more could help, but not that kind of more. So I came to ask myself what kind of "more" should we strive for.
I've been all over the map with this one. I've had wealth and spent it responsibly. I've been in between and spent it stupidly. I've been poor wanting more. I think the real question is what "more" do you want from life and what is that "more" worth to you. Can you trust yourself to live within what you have been given, be a good steward and balance wanting "more".
More to me is defined in so many ways. It isn't always wanting more material things or wealth. It can be more time, more happiness, better health. The true test of a person's character isn't what they do when they are given more, it is what they do with what they have and do not expect anything more. There is something beautiful about seeing someone content with a simple life. They could have more but they choose things that elude the values of this world. Their riches are steeped with peace within and at peace with the world around.
If you aren't happy with your world, change your world right? I've heard that before. What if the part of that world is your health or a condition you can't physically change? Well, then you redefine what it is that defines you. You redefine what it means to have a good or a bad day. You are diagnosed with something new to fight, you grieve, regroup and redefine your path. Is any of this easy? Hell no, not even close. I live it intimately. Many more live it every day in silence. But we take what we are given and make the best of it. If I have a house of broken wood, I'll carve my initials in the door and keep it clean for you to visit. A place to call your own is something I once took for granted. If something nicer falls in my lap then great. But I'm content with not having more. I'll see how long the human inside of me allows my humbled spirit to just be in this moment and be content. Live in the moment you are in, be thankful for the ground beneath your feet that meets your step. And if you are falling, be thankful that there is a ground that will eventually meet you. And no matter how bad things get, no matter how many times you have to redefine your life, the one certainty in life is that everything can change.