Possibility and Privilege

The really greatest things in life being beyond the power of mere money to buy or to corner, they are thus revealed as the possibility and privilege of all who will pay for them in the consecrated energy of body, mind, heart or soul. Let us seek to escape the miasma of today that has crept over the land, the money-worship, the constant talk of success as though it were merely a synonym for money-making.” ~ William George Jordan

The trouble with living in a miasma is that you don’t often realize that you are bound by its oppressive qualities. Take, for instance, the recent global malaise borne of the economic turbulence we’ve experienced over the last few years. The unrelenting discomfort of uncertainty is slowly becoming the new “normal” and it is becoming increasingly difficult to accurately remember what the previous “normal” was like.

The miasma of which Mr. Jordan speaks is now multi-generational. It is woven deep into the fabric of human thought and its influence can be seen and felt in almost everything human beings undertake. What exactly it would take to rid the body of humanity of this miasma I cannot be sure, though if it like most things, it will be cleared from one of two approaches: the first, a cataclysmic change and the second, a much more subtle remedy.

I typically prefer the latter, though human nature tends to gravitate toward the former. Nothing like a tight corner or a life-threatening situation to get people off their backsides and to make a change in the direction of what they knew to be right in the first place!

Success can be gained in many ways, though none surpass the development of character in the individual. Making money enhances the ability of those who possess character to be a blessing in the world. Pile a bunch of money on a foundation of questionable character, however, and you have a recipe for disaster.

The only way to escape this miasma is to concentrate your efforts on the development of a strong base of character. In so doing you will find that the comings and goings of money do not influence your state of being, neither do they influence the clarity and fineness of your expression.

8 thoughts on “Possibility and Privilege

  1. Scarlett

    So many things in life can come on go, but character is one of those things that is immovable unless it is destroyed by yourself. I know that each day, every decision I make and every emotion I let control my heart adds or takes away from my character.

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  2. Colin

    The privilege to build and maintain character is one of the most unique forms of expression that any of us have. It makes you fundamentally more you. It is the ability to keep to your higher vision in life no matter what is happening around you. It’s not that you don’t feel the things that are happening around you, but when your character base becomes strong enough, it just is not as important as it used to be. The feeling that you are doing what is natural to you becomes the foreground, and your ability to amplify blessing just overwhelms all the naysaying voices. It is a really amazing experience, and it should grow as you continue. You are never really done refining your character base.

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  3. David R

    I especially liked your reference to the miasma of the evolving human condition. The internal/external environment is what we adapt to in various ways, either conscious or unconscious. Part of this is based on what we can bear to see, because so many facets of the present human condition are horrifying. If we can face that and allow it to spur us to a greater resolve to let genuine character be our foundation, there is one result. If we refuse to look or take the route of numbing our perceptions, there is another result – more tragic to be sure.

    Behind it all, of course, the awareness of an inherent balance, wisdom, justice and beauty creates an axis for a sense of orientation and wellbeing that is not subject to the conditions around us.

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  4. Thanks for your timely words, Gregg, and for continuing to share the wisdom of Mr. Jordan with us. The development of character is of course a lifetime project and process, and one that needs to deliberatell be developed. One of the ways that I have discovered about the stage of ones own personal development is how one deals with loss. For example, the loss of a good client, or for an employer, the loss of a really fine employee. When one is devastated by the loss and says things such as “I will never give that much to someone again” then they are admitting to a lack of character. On the other hand, when one looks at the loss (and no matter how good we are at something, we will at least on occasion have losses) of a valued one and truly, in their heart, wish them well, than that likely would be an indication of the development of fine character.

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  5. Brad

    Excellent point. I intend to raise my children focusing on the foundation of their character regardless of any outside circumstances…and the best way to do so is through example – better raise my bar 🙂
    Love this post!

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  6. Ricardo B.

    I remember my dad telling me in my youth, that one thing that can’t be taken away from me is my education; focus on my education, and I’ll be able to stand firm. This principle is easily translatable to the development of character, because you will always have something, something of real worth, however the shifting forces of economy and politics and even your personal life may happen to appear at any given moment. That lesson stuck with me, and even more so now in light of what I am considering in these posts. Put real worth and effort into what is really worth it -internal qualities that are the part of you of that which you are, and you can delightedly find solace because you have discontinued the stressful comparison of yourself to others in favor of the noble comparison of yourself only to yourself; achievement born of internal discontent will always scale higher and propel further than simply by looking around you. This is what I have certainly noticed in my own affairs.

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  7. Doug

    Good character is the infrastructure necessary for an abundant life. It would be easier to build it as a child but it’s never too late to begin.

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  8. MMc

    I read a article a few years ago that gave some statistics about lottery winners. I remember at the time the majority ended up bankrupt or with legal difficulties. Most interviewed for the article said they’d never had any previos experience with how to handle money, they cited previous bankruptcies etc. It seemed they never developed a foundation to amass any money or with some the character to manage even basic life skills, so getting more of something they were unable to work with in smaller amounts didn’t change much in the long run. Building anything or starting at the bottom does give you the opportunity to establish a sturdy foundation. This analogy applies to every aspect of our lives. Good to consider, thanks.

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