7/08/2012

Politics and Abundance

When Jesus said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive,' he was not teaching self-denial, but the law of abundance.

Abundance cannot be acquired, only given. With a mind in the mode of acquisition, even the wealthiest person feels lack. There is never enough. But with a mind in the mode of giving, even the poorest person feels wealthy.

In Third World cultures of hospitality, the poorest village will throw a feast for a visiting stranger. Somehow, it is truly a feast, because when everyone shares, there is plenty. This is the real meaning of Christ's "miracle of the loaves and fishes." The story is not about supernatural power, but the miracle of human community.

It's easy to be liberal when we're being liberal with other people's money. And it's easy to be conservative when we're conserving everything for ourselves. But the beloved community is based on mutual abundance. What is acquired is multiplied by giving. Everyone participates. Those who do not give do not receive. But to those who give, more will be given. "Give and it will be given to you." (Luke 6:38)

Economies based on the acquisition of personal wealth are doomed to failure. Economies based on shared wealth are destined for success.

As we decide which political candidate to support in the coming election, the rubric is simple: which candidate represents an ethic of personal acquisition, and which candidate represents an ethic of shared abundance?

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