“The human race has had long experience and a fine tradition in surviving adversity. But we now face a task for which we have little experience: the task of surviving prosperity.” ~ Alan Gregg, Challenges to Contemporary Medicine …
Times of prosperity do not necessarily equate to feelings of joy, completeness, or fulfillment. On the contrary, when we find that we have everything we need–and even a lot of that which we desire–we tend to become complacent in our search for meaning, purpose, understanding, happiness, and fulfillment. And perhaps that is because the challenges we are faced with during those times of great difficulty in our lives tend to give us purpose–something to struggle against, something to challenge our former selves with, something that precipitates healthy changes and inspires necessary growth. And for the majority of us, our spiritual lives are the one quadrant of ourselves in which we spend the least amount of time in. <!–more–>
Our spirituality seems to be one of the first things to be discarded in our throwaway culture. When it comes to being in tune with our hearts, and who we are, society tends to try to pull us in different directions–teaching us instead that our purpose and meaning is to be found outside of ourselves. And in these times of great prosperity, it is easy to be distracted by all the wonderful, exciting, and new things are available to us. But in truth, it is as equally important now, as it was then, to journey down the path of self-discovery–towards understanding our hearts in greater depth.
Fortunately, one of man’s greatest abilities is that of being able to rise to the challenges that he is faced with–to persevere in the face of overwhelming odds and impending dangers and come out as something greater. The question, then, is not of our ability to overcome these new difficulties and issues we are faced with at this point in human history, but of our determination and fortitude to run forth to meet them head-on once we recognize them, with courage, faith, and an indomitable spirit.
Simply surviving adversity, or surviving prosperity, is hardly enough to ensure that our lives are lived to the fullest. In our times of difficulty or suffering, we must allow our troubles to help us make the most of every chapter of our lives. And in our times of abundance, we must create an attitude of gratitude that pours forth appreciation and thanks for the gifts that we are blessed with.
Seek to truly thrive in your life and not just survive.
Questions to consider:
Why might humans do so well in adversity, but not always as well in times of prosperity?
How do you survive prosperity? What strategies do you employ?
Who are some individuals that you know who do very well in times of prosperity? How do they approach their lives?
For further thought:
“We’ve got the most prosperous culture in human history and we’ve also got the biggest spiritual hole in human history.” ~ Mark Victor Hansen