Leisure and Greed

Leisure and Greed

I can remember when I was younger

everyone used to say

“In future we’ll only need to work

three or four hours a day”

We spoke of the need to educate

people to handle leisure

It seemed that we were heading towards

a life of ease and pleasure

The sixties gave rise to the hippies

or freaks as they became known

because their values never arose

from what they were taught or shown

They advocated a better world

of planetary harmony

by using only peace and love

and simply letting it be

The seventies might have been the time

to begin this manifestation

but self-indulgence took over

and gave rise to the Me generation

The vision of a better world

then began to recede

as we abandoned pursuing leisure

and opted instead for greed

The eighties gave away values and

ethics went out the door

Obsession with money took over

People watched their riches soar

The greedy were like lemmings

charging to the cliff

as if the dream was viable

no one asked, “what if …?”

We traded a life of quality,

peace and simple enjoyment

for a frantic grab at riches

and for others, unemployment

We never reduced the working week

so jobs would not be lost

So unemployment got out of hand

at tremendous social cost

Instead of implementing

the things that really mattered

We exploited and we squandered

until the dream was shattered

When the stock market crashed

so did all the dreams

because then the whole economy

came apart at the seams

The shock of the recession

brought many to realise

that they could loose the home or farm

if they didn’t reprioritize

The smart ones have decided

to completely acquit all debt

By cutting down on luxuries

debt payments can be met

Instead of consuming more

people began living on less

allowing the ecology

time to convalesce

That’s a whole lot better

than utter, wanton destruction

of planetary ecology

just for more production

Now that things have slowed right down

it gives us time to think

about how to heal the planet

and pull back from the brink

Because we have enormous

problems in need of solution

like destruction of environment

overseas debt and pollution

Notice that these problems

got worse at the same time

Are we doing things back the front

and in need of a new paradigm?

One in which the way we live

doesn’t make us a debtor

and the things we do in our work

makes the environment better

The current paradigm believes

one’s gain is another’s loss

Instead of life affirming

it creates Thanatos

Anyone trying to get ahead

by going into debt

must answer to the future

Which is now a risky bet

As interest accrues to the debt

many find that there lives are spent

repaying many times over

the money the bank first lent

Buddhist call it samsara –

the wheel of rebirth without end

If you want to get off that merry-go-round

Don’t borrow in order to spend

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