Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Contemplating My Wealth

What I think I want always seems to exceed what I truly need, or for that matter, what I really want. I have purchased so many things that I used for something to begin with but then ignored. In fact, some things I purchased, I never used at all, even though I had every intention of doing so. A case in point is the perfect binding machine I purchased, intending to publish my tax book with it. By the time I got around to ordering it and receiving it through shipment, I had found a better alternative for publishing my book. So my investment of almost $1,000 was all for naught.

Not only do I acquire and want things above and beyond what I will actually use, for some products that I have and do use, I am unsatisfied with what they do or how they perform. So I am always looking for improvements that may not be even possible yet. My Kindle is an example of that. When I purchased my first model, I wished that it would accommodate, for example, PDF files. Of course it didn't, but it's advantages outweighed its disadvantages and so I purchased it, hoping sometime in the future they would modify it to accommodate PDF files. Instead, what they did was to produce a new model that accommodates PDF files without making the existing models accommodate them.

Means for satisfying wants are scarce. Gathering up resources --- the ingredients for goods and services --- only comes about slowly, as do advances in technology.

What would it mean to live a life of scarcity? A life where I didn't have the basic needs I needed? How can I even imagine it? And how does it relate to those within my circle, the people I know, the people I care about? Really, who do I know who doesn't have enough to meet their basic needs? Now, it might be true that individuals I know don't provide for their own necessities, because they rely on somebody else to provide them for them. Nonetheless, their needs, their basic needs of shelter, food, and clothing are met by somebody. But it is true that in the world there R. many whose basic needs are not being met and who are therefore dying because of it.

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