Putting your wealth in context

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Putting your wealth in context

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:34 am

If you're affluent enough to be sitting at your own computer reading this, you are probably better off than most people in the world ... and maybe you already know that, but even if you do know it you probably don't know how much better off you are and you will often forget it anyway, simply comparing yourself to people around you.
Here's a site that does something about both sides of that problem: http://www.globalrichlist.com/

Why did I call our ignorance and forgetfulness on this issue a "problem"?
Simply because we so often forget that, truly, we can afford to give more generously to those less fortunate than ourselves.

:namaste:
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby Ben » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:41 am

Thanks Kim, that is excellent.
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby cooran » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:59 am

Interesting, Kym.

Who came up with this and what research supports it?

With metta
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby Ben » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:06 am

cooran wrote:Interesting, Kym.

Who came up with this and what research supports it?

With metta
Chris


Chris,
The information is on the website. Aftr you get your results scroll down and at the bottom of the page is an 'about us/why we are doing this' link.
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:23 am

Greetings,

Kim O'Hara wrote:Why did I call our ignorance and forgetfulness on this issue a "problem"?
Simply because we so often forget that, truly, we can afford to give more generously to those less fortunate than ourselves.

I'd suggest another even more frequent application might be in relation to material cravings. In other words, when knowing how comparatively well off we are, those potential material acquisitions or luxuries that could take us to higher eschalons of wealth or income come to seem comparatively trifling in the scheme of mankind... perhaps relinquishing those cravings could become easier?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby SDC » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:34 am

First World Problems

For even more perspective.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby Digity » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:40 am

SDC wrote:First World Problems

For even more perspective.

Hahaha...I love these. These FWP memes actually had a good effect on me. I discovered them for the first time a few weeks ago and recognized myself in a few instances. I realized what a whiner I could be and how fortunate I was to be in the situation I am. We're definitely spoiled in the western world and don't appreciate our good fortune. :/
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby Digity » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am

What percentage of your yearly income do you think should be put towards charitable needs? I'm sometimes hesitant about giving money, even though I make a good salary, because I live on my own and have to pay a mortgage. If I lose my job, etc. then I don't have a second income. However, I would like to be charitable and I am at times..I just have trouble figuring out the right amount/balance.
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby manas » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:44 am

I.think.we.should.give.in.accordance.with.our.means
a.wealthy.person.can.afford.to.give.more
but.someone.who.is.only.just.getting.by
such.as.a.long.term.unemployed.person
can.afford.to.give.not.as.much
but.all.can.give.something.

i.like.to.give.when.asked
if.its.going.to.a.proper.charity
or.to.a.person.in.need
(unless.its.plainly.obvious.that.the.money
would.only.fuel.a.drug.habit)
but.generally.i.try.to.help
according.to.my.means
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:59 am

Digity wrote:What percentage of your yearly income do you think should be put towards charitable needs? I'm sometimes hesitant about giving money, even though I make a good salary, because I live on my own and have to pay a mortgage. If I lose my job, etc. then I don't have a second income. However, I would like to be charitable and I am at times..I just have trouble figuring out the right amount/balance.

A good question but there is no one-size-fits-all answer (although there used to be - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tithe.)
Some starting points:
If your income dropped by 5% - 10% - 20% could you still live as comfortably and securely as you do now?
How much of your present income is "disposable", i.e. you are free to spend it on non-essentials?
Do you need a new fridge/coat/cruise more than a Lao farmer needs a new tractor/water pump/education for his kids?

:namaste:
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby SarathW » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:09 am

I have seen lot of people have become hoarders.
If I buy something new I give away the old one to someone in need.
We don’t have to be millionaires to practice Dana (gift) :group:
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:43 pm

That makes you the 1,440,774,310th richest person on earth.



:jumping:

If everybody lived like i did there would be alot fewer problems in the world.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby corrine » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:58 pm

I was raised that ten per cent was for caring (actual charity) and ten per cent was for sharing (that is, giving to and helping friends and/or family who may be in need).

My father taught me to live way below my means, whatever that happened to be, to save for whatever happens in the future and to share whatever I am fortunate enough to be given. I try. I do not always succeed. I am frequently told I am a fool to share what I have. Maybe. But I was told, and I believe, that sharing doubles joy and halves sorrow.

But then, living where I do makes it easy because, really, we all here have much more than we need and we waste a great deal. I think that sometimes those of us to whom much has been given, take it all for granted. We think in terms of being able to afford a newer, bigger television or a fancier phone, and not about finding money just to put food on our tables. It is all about perspective. I think sometimes the more we have the more we seem to require to make us feel comfortable.

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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:35 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
That makes you the 1,440,774,310th richest person on earth.


:jumping:

If everybody lived like i did there would be alot fewer problems in the world.


That's in the top 31% richest in the world -- bourgeois :pig:

:tongue:
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:58 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:
That makes you the 1,440,774,310th richest person on earth.


:jumping:

If everybody lived like i did there would be alot fewer problems in the world.


That's in the top 31% richest in the world -- bourgeois :pig:

:tongue:


Yah i know. Im striving to be properly abashed :)
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:32 pm

corrine wrote:I was raised that ten per cent was for caring (actual charity) and ten per cent was for sharing (that is, giving to and helping friends and/or family who may be in need).

My father taught me to live way below my means, whatever that happened to be, to save for whatever happens in the future and to share whatever I am fortunate enough to be given. I try. I do not always succeed. I am frequently told I am a fool to share what I have. Maybe. But I was told, and I believe, that sharing doubles joy and halves sorrow.

But then, living where I do makes it easy because, really, we all here have much more than we need and we waste a great deal. I think that sometimes those of us to whom much has been given, take it all for granted. We think in terms of being able to afford a newer, bigger television or a fancier phone, and not about finding money just to put food on our tables. It is all about perspective. I think sometimes the more we have the more we seem to require to make us feel comfortable.

corrine

:goodpost:

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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:23 am

Kim,

Here you go - just in today:

If you listen to the nation's political leaders the 'hard-working families of Australia' are 'doing it tough'.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has repeatedly promised to "support modern families with the stresses and strains of everyday life".
While last week Opposition Leader Tony Abbott pledged to "help the forgotten families of Australia with cost of living pressures".
It's a simple election pitch: almost everyone wants more financial help and opinion polls show cost of living is again a key concern in marginal electorates in the major cities.
But should it be?
"I would regard Australians as never having it so good," says Commsec chief economist Craig James.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-24/j ... ng/4647786
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby James the Giant » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:43 am

Wow I'm in the top half percent of planetary population!
There are only 37 million people who earn more than me, in a world of seven thousand million people. Seven billion.
And I'm living in a flat with four other people to split the rent and bills.
I guess it's all relative.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby Hickersonia » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:08 am

James the Giant wrote:I guess it's all relative.

That is precisely the way I looked at it when I tried it. Depending on which method I use, I get an insanely different result, and even though I have virtually no debt (200-ish dollars in dental bills hardly counts) and no major luxury subscriptions (like cable TV), I still can't get by without begging from the inlaws every six months.

If this is what it feels like to be in the top 1% (or top 10%, either way), it isn't worth it folks. LOL
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Re: Putting your wealth in context

Postby BlackBird » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:36 am

What an excellent site
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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