March 13

“As you would not chose to sail in a ship ornamented in gold and to be drowned, so do not choose to dwell in a large and costly house and to be disturbed by worries.”                  – Epictetus

We could chose to replace the house with anything where the expense of maintaining the object in question could become a burden and anything that we might be tempted into owning for the image that it projects. A car we financed, clothes purchased with a credit card, vacations put on credit cards, and on and on.

Most of us, especially here in the United States live beyond our means. In the U.S. our economy actually depends on consumer spending. Without it, we wouldn’t see economic growth and a good amount of consumer spending is done with credit cards or debt. You could say our debt makes us patriots.

But in the developed world, money is also a huge source of stress. Financial issues are at the base of most marriage troubles and divorces. Financial stress is a leading source of stress for people in the developed world. People who have their basic human needs met with ease. People who enjoy luxuries that border on the ridiculous. But it’s not enough.

We have set sail on the golden ship and we are drowning. We need to learn to recognize when we are moving outside of our means and we need to be able to ask ourselves if we are fulfilling a need or are we actually just adding to our troubles.

If we can retrain ourselves in this way, we would find ourselves wealthy (content) before we realized it was happening.

virtus fortis vocat


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