A contemplative tale
One early morning last week on my way to the gym, I saw a homeless man wandering aimlessly. I looked away, avoiding eye contact, and kept going, pretending that it shouldn't matter.
But by thinking the thought, it did matter. It mattered that he was “homeless” and I did nothing about it – other than to recognize this awareness bothered me. I had so much going for me compared to him. I realized the privilege in my abundance.
I know nothing of the homeless man's story. Who am I to judge, but he appeared to have nothing. This doesn't mean he needs anything, but surely a home, personal safety, and peace of mind should be available to him – and not a privilege.
What should I call this repeated, uncomfortable, knee-jerk reaction to seeing a homeless person? Does this make me a bad person? A bad person might sneer, criticize, and judge, which we often do in situations that make us uncomfortable.
With abundance comes responsibility; to oneself and to the universal construct that abundance is a priori available to everyone.
Abundance is not a thing.
It's a mindset and a state of being. It's a universal constant. If you turn your abundance into a physical object, a possession or something to protect, then it becomes a privilege.
A moment of awe-wareness
I realized that comfort is a kind of abundance, whereas discomfort is stepping outside of the belief that abundance is limitless.
Perhaps that’s where privilege as a form of protection shows up. If I judge and ignore the homeless man it's because in some way I'm worried about losing what I possess. I am choosing to limit my perception of what I have.
Poverty and prosperity are mental constructs on either side of a spectrum.
Abundance is non-judgmental. Abundance is an expression of the truth of the universe, which is ever expanding. Like Einstein’s famous formula, E = MC², energy cannot be destroyed; it only changes form.
Like quantum theory, which states that our observation of particles has an affect upon them, by comparison my observation of abundance had an effect upon my understanding of it in that moment – in relation to the limiting concept of privilege.
There are no limitations other than the limits we create and accept for ourselves.
When we limit the nature of abundance, how does that make us judge others as “less than”, protect what we have, and hold back on what we have to offer?