Friday, December 28, 2007

True Prosperity

Paul's mom inadvertently gave us a special gift this Christmas. It started with a gift card to a store that no longer exists in our area. Couldn't have foreseen that—if she had asked us we would have said, sure, there's a J.C. Penny at the mall. But there wasn't so we made a special trip about 40 minutes away to Salinas.

Then things got interesting. We never shop at a mall. We almost never go shopping at all. I usually think it's because we have no money for that but the reality is something else altogether.

As we started to turn into the mall parking lot we almost got hit by a woman in a large SUV. The look on her face was something to behold—she looked bored! Blasé. Blank. We honked, she stopped inches away from Paul's door, and even when we gestured and yelled in her direction her expression didn't change! Paul was shaken and I had violent thoughts about what I would have done if she had hurt Paul and still looked the same way but we got over it and continued on our way. Into the gargantua mall (if you listen to KPIG radio you'll recognize the joke) and absolute overwhelm. Stuff! The place was stuffed to the gills with stuff, so much stuff that in retrospect it was hard to tell that the Christmas shopping season was almost over.

Paul did a funny impression of us at the mall when we got home. Two overwhelmed little mice with big eyes kind of shrinking into ourselves as we wandered around in a kind of lost sort of way. We took a tour of the store to get the lay of the land and then beat a retreat to the food court to think things over.

What did we want? What did we need?

The answer? Nothing. Especially in light of the near miss at the entrance, it was really clear. As long as we were healthy and had each other we had everything we wanted already. All our needs have been met and our biggest desires have nothing to do with what a gift card of any sort could bring.

We returned home with new boots for Paul and underwear and socks for me (including silly ones with penguins on the sides). But the "gift" wasn't in our shopping bags. It was in knowing that our wealth isn't in the things we can buy or money in the bank. It's in the love we share and time we have together.

Here's a short video that expresses stuff we do care about—the importance of tuning in to what matters every day and using it to transform your world.

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