During times of great change like now, we are bumping up against issues and problems that have been neglected for a long time. Often what has been neglected is also what has been taken for granted.
Neglect is not a simple matter. Sometimes we neglect something because we need to. During a crisis like a pandemic, we attend to the crisis because that takes top priority and the consequences for not doing so are too severe to ignore. Not all neglect issues are so obviously understood. Neglect can be a more complex issue of defined social and economic priorities.
Because Western culture is highly individualistic, we place the burden and responsibility for neglect on the individual; unfortunately, the cost of repairing this neglect is often beyond the means of the individual, creating undue hardship often to the benefit of someone else. From this comes many feelings of resentment and perceptions of social and economic inequity.
- Neglecting road repair so that potholes destroy someone’s tires. This is a small example, but it does matter.
- Neglecting the maintenance of water systems, so that people get sick and even die from toxins in the water.
- Creating food with additives which cause people to become sick and burdened with exorbitant medical bills.
Living in an imperfect world does not excuse unnecessary neglect.
Priorities determine the choices we make, the actions we take, and what we neglect.
When we want abundance in our lives, we need to be able to create it and sustain it. Creating abundance is one thing; sustaining is another. To sustain abundance and the quality of life it brings, we must take a long-term view and invest in the solid foundations that make abundance possible. Suppose we neglect the underpinnings of quality of life like health and infrastructure. In that case, no matter how hard someone works, at some point, they will be brought down by poor underlying foundations that do not support quality of life and thriving.
When this is the case, more and more people look for the quick win like lotteries, or the side hustle and do not invest in the long term. We all lose as a result.
True Abundance Requires Solid Social And Cultural Foundations
The important change being asked of us is to rebalance our lives and society by making basic needs the top priority for all individuals.
When basic needs come first, it is easier to feel safe and content. Feelings of desperation that do not create abundance are fewer. It is easier to freely invest your time and energy in contributing to making life as good as possible because you are not living in constant fear.
Changing Priorities Will Bring Real Abundance
Nature, people, and human infrastructures have been suffering for a long time from neglect.
All of this neglect is expensive to us as individuals and to our culture. We need to change our priorities in order to avoid what is essentially a waste of time, resources, and life itself. Life is not meant to be a series of crises. We can get 0ut of crisis mode by tackling the long overdue maintenance of ourselves and our own health, as well as the maintenance of our communities and natural resources.
Life may always offer us challenges, but the unnecessary stress of poor priorities does not have to be one of them.