One day this past summer, I took my kids to our neighborhood swimming pool. My son had brought along three balls my mother had given him. They’re rubber balls so they don’t sink, don’t hurt anyone and they’re fun to play with
in the pool.
We’re playing with the balls and everyone is seemingly having fun. At least my kids are. But me?, I’m slightly panicked on the inside because I am trying to keep track of them at all times.
I decide to put one ball in my pocket and let the kids play with the other two This way I only have to keep track of two of them, which is a lot easier. But I always have to check my pocket to make sure the ball is still there.
This is life, right? The more stuff we have, the more stuff we have to keep account of. It is the sentiment behind the famous song “I’ve Got Plenty of Nothing” from the opera Porgy and Bess.. “I’ve got plenty of nothing and nothing is plenty for me,” sings Porgy in the opening line of that song.
Is Porgy rich? The classic rabbinical answer to the question of “who is rich” is “those who are content with what they have.” Another spin puts it this way:
the people who are richest aren’t the people who have the most but rather the people who need the least.
In that spirit, let’s try an exercise this week. You have to purge, and get rid of ten things this week. And, I will too.
When we get rid of things – and all the more so when we give them to others – our spirit opens, we are less “filled” and it can lead us to being generous – and generosity is the root of all virtues. Another benefit? When we get rid of things we see that our accumulation, our natural tendency to horde, isn’t actually healthy for us.
This week’s spiritual advice?
See if you can be more mindful of what really matters.