YOUR STORIES in these times

an occasional feature where readers share special insights gained through their prayer on current topics

I BELIEVE that because of our spiritual upbringing and conservative culture, most people in India like to contain their expenses within the family income, using it for basic needs alone. Perhaps that is why effects of the current global recession and excessive consumerism are not visible in the lives of everyday people here—in spite of the fact that more than 40 percent of our population is hardly able to make ends meet.

Since the idea of consumerism can seem like a preoccupation with acquiring things, it causes me to consider the nature of true and lasting happiness. Dictionaries give the idea that happiness is a state of mind, such as contentment, satisfaction, pleasure. However, Science and Health gave me the best answer: "Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind," wrote Mary Baker Eddy, "and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul. Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man" (pp. 60-61). Further, Jesus' teachings clearly suggest that accumulation of material stuff is not grounds for happiness: "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal" (Matt. 6:20).

Untying the settlements knot
August 24, 2009

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