There is nothing wrong with having what we need to live well, and even thrive. Gandhi’s concern, however, is that consumerism, or the multiplication of our wants, only makes us more insecure and dependent on others. He wants to encourage us in every way possible to liberate ourselves from the false belief that we need to be fulfilled by consuming things, when what really makes us secure are deep, caring relationships. The less I want to grasp onto things and people as though my security depended on them, the greater will be my awareness of the needs of others as well as the true nature of happiness. As the Buddha said, “no sorrow can come to those who do not try to possess things or people as their own.” Simplicity all around, in our thoughts, words and deeds, points the way forward in nonviolence.
The next time you want to buy something, ask yourself if you really need it or if it is offering a false promise of security. Decide if you still want to buy it. 🙂
The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 firstname.lastname@example.org