“Truly man was created very impatient; fretful when evil touches him; and niggardly when good reaches him.” (al-Ma’arijj, 70:19-21).
“Men’s souls are swayed by greed.” (They are inclined to be stingy by nature).” (an-Nisa, 4:128) ……….
In today’s state of the economy it’s completely reasonable and smart not to be a spendthrift. Many of us on fixed or no income are justified in being judicious with our funds. Caution in spending if you’re barely getting by is not being miserly or stingy.
Ebenezer Scrooge was not materially impoverished. However, I would say that he was spiritually impoverished. Mr. Scrooge was a fictional character, of course. But he represents an actual segment of every society. When I see someone behaving in a miserly fashion, I feel both sadness and pity for them.
Stinginess is simply one manifestation of greed. I have chanced upon it in a most blatant form. While cruising a local thrift store for collectables, I encountered a fairly well-to-do acquaintance. When she finished her browsing, she picked up a couple of loaves of bread, walked out the door and placed the food into the trunk of her late model Volvo. She is not the only person who does this. The day old bread is donated by some local businesses to benefit the needy and low income families at zero cost.
I have a friend who’s sole source of income is his Social Security cheque. He tithes ten-percent of that cheque to charitable organizations each month. He doesn’t advertise the act either. I only found out about his donations when I helped him file his Income Tax forms. I was flabbergasted at his anonymous generosity. I certainly don’t feel that I can contribute that large of a share. I also know that some extremely well-off folks don’t come close to sharing ten-percent of their wealth, either.
There’s no way to force people to share their good fortune with the society that enabled their wealth in the first place. Not even taxation works. In spite of all the grumbling done by multi- millionaires and multi-billionaires, taxation is skirted by loopholes and off-shore tax shelters.
I’m not of the mind to coerce wealthy people to contribute a fair share of what they obtain from society at large or from speculation in the stock market. I just wonder what sort of character deficit they suffer from that causes such overt, blatant greed.
That does not excuse them from taxation to support the maintainance of the highways and ports they use for transporting their goods and services. Nor does it excuse them from paying for the military forces used to enforce their overseas resource harvesting. Not only is this desire to obtain wealth without paying the full costs unfair, it seems to me that it should be considered criminal.
Worst of all, the most miserly people I’ve known are, to a man and a woman, the most unhappy folks in my circle of acquaintances. They don’t know the joy of unattached generosity. Every single wisdom tradition from Christianity, Islam, Judaism, toHinduism, and Buddhism plus countless others preach the benefits of keeping money in circulation and the evils of hording. Money, gold and silver aren’t meant to be horded.
Money is designed as a medium of exchange and trade. If this medium is stashed away by a self-selected chosen few, then only a few will benefit while the rest of society is locked out poor and hungry. Every creature on earth is entitled to basic goodness simply by virtue of the fact that they exist as occupants of the planet that we all share. This is a basic tenent of the great spiritual traditions whether theistic or non-theistic.
One of my friends is a pastor in the Methodist Christian religion. He regularly reminds his congregation that Satan directs people to become stingy by dangling the fear of poverty in front of them. If that is true, it looks like the Christian/Islamic deity of Satan has become very successful in today’s world.
I’m not a believer in Satan. I only stand aside in wonder at the goings on in the world. I do what I can to understand what makes people click. I do my best to live a happy, wholesome lifestyle without being priggish about it.
I wonder why most people couldn’t care less about acquiring joy.
The Blue Jay of Happiness shares what he can, his song and his beauty.