So I’ve explained that my primary value is the state of flourishing, assisted by a happy household, reassuring relationships, pleasant pastimes and a steadfast spirit. Which brings me to my last value – the perception of prosperity.
While it may seem odd for it to be my least (but still) valuable thing, it is a subjective thing; each of us have our own thoughts about what wealth is. As a young woman in my first job, an uncommitted $50 note (for emergencies) in my wallet made me feel rich beyond measure. A $50 note! For no reason! I am so rich! Now I’m older, with a billion trillion things to do, 5 minutes of uncommitted time seems like pure luxury. So what does prosperity look like now?
When I started writing this post, this section was about paid work. That it fulfils all five of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs , both physical and mental, and that it fulfils all 6 of my values as well because they all depend to some extent on the capacity to purchase. Not to mention how soul destroying it is to be unemployed, and not to have the means to fulfil your needs. As I’ve been writing, I have realised that for my purposes it is really the income that matters, not the social or mental factors – they are covered elsewhere.
So income. It does arrive with reassuring regularity from paid work for someone else, but it also comes from self-employment, wise investments, gifts, inheritances and so on. The important part is having enough of it to meet your needs no matter the source. And in my ideal universe, I would always have enough, so an amount of long-term planning is required.
For some people, having money is not about buying stuff per se, it is about the capacity to make choices, and that’s my concern. Will I buy a nice crumbly aged artisan cheddar, or will I buy less expensive factory cheddar. Roquefort or Danish Blue? Or perhaps even “Tahiti looks nice”. Choice is also one of those concerns that applies across a lifetime; I certainly don’t want to be spending my twilight years figuring out how I am going to pay the life-sustaining drugs I am taking. So choice is also about putting off immediate gratification for long-term benefit.
Do we not all complain that we can have either the time OR the money, but not both?
Who has time for a full facial these days? Thank the deity of your choice that you can get an express facial. Does that strike anyone else as ludicrous? You have made time for a luxurious indulgence, but you don’t have time to properly experience it? And are you then rushing home to catch up on the latest episode of any given reality tv show? Are you watching reality rather than living it?
I want the extended facial with add-on anti-fatigue eye and décolleté treatments! I want to make my reality worth living.
And that is where we leave prosperity. I’m exhausted! Is this the last thing on your list or is it the first?
Next time I’ll summarise the values and explain how they work as a decision-making framework, and in a future post make some plans to develop prosperity further.
The story so far:
- values: introduction
- value #1: the state of flourishing
- value #2: a happy household
- value #3: reassuring relationships
- value #4: pleasant pastimes
- value #5: a steadfast spirit