Speed and Greed

How can you contribute your unique talents and gifts to the progress of the planet without damaging the environment or harming others? Can you be in the world but not of it, avoiding participation in the endless cycle of speed and greed that increasingly marks our culture? ~Stephan Bodian

Bodian explores the notion of “right livelihood,” deriving from the Buddhist tradition, but “evolved to refer more broadly to any meaningful, fulfilling work that makes a positive contribution to the world and expresses a compassionate or sacred intent.” The concept is simple: Do no harm.

But that’s harder than ever in today’s world, it seems. Bodian quotes Joanna Macy, “Right livelihood is far more complex now than it was in the time of the Buddha, because we find ourselves in economic and ecological relationships that are simply unsustainable in the long term. To the degree that we participate in these relationships, we inevitably cause harm in some way through our work.”

May I become increasingly aware of ways I participate in our culture of speed and greed, so that I may move ever closer to right livelihood through right intention and right action. May I be joyfully mindful of my work, seeking to be of service yet unattached to the outcome.

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