On Grabbing A Bargain?

Boxing Day SalesNearly everyone I know has been rushing out to the Boxing Day sales today, determined to grab that ‘must have’ bargain.

But is it a ‘must have’, is it even a ‘bargain’, is it, really?

All over Christmas, at every commercial break, we get bombarded with ‘Bargain Offers’ for buy now, pay later ‘Must Haves’ … Rubbish.

Happiness stems from who you are, and not from what you own. That nice new iPad Mini 3 or iPhone 6 that you have been showing off, will very soon be yesterdays toy, and the next big ‘must have’ thing will come along to take its place.

Look around you, see how much you really have, family, friends and all manner of comforts in life. You don’t need that ‘must have’ gizmo, and if it really were such a ‘bargain’, why would the company be selling it at that price? Because they are just ripping you off by a little less than before.

Retail therapy is only therapy for the companies selling the goods. Tell me, honestly, that you have never been out, bought a ‘bargain’, and regretted it, maybe even before you got home. Think before you spend that hard earned cash, think even harder before you pay with your credit card or take a loan. Do you really need it?

Get ‘Em Out By Friday – Nothing Changes

Get Em Out By Friday - hear it hereThere is nothing better to perk up a dull and boring morning at work than listening to some rocking music. My taste in music is pretty eclectic, but this morning I have been listening to some classic Genesis tracks.

Now I can listen to Genesis till the cows come home and I have loved them since they formed back in 1967. I wore out copies of Trespass, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot on a tinny Dansette record player in the psychedelic bedroom of my teenage years, and today I was listening to Foxtrot once again.

I know the lyrics to all the old classic Genesis tracks, those of the Steve Hackett, Peter Gabrielle era, but one track really stood out today, Get ’em out by Friday. It’s the story of unscrupulous property developers and investment scams, of people being evicted and ripped off by crooked landlords.

The lyrics and music were recorded back in August 1972, 42 years ago, but the dialogue performed shows that nothing has really changed in all that time …

John Pebble of Styx Enterprises:
“Get ’em out by Friday!
You don’t get paid till the last one’s well on his way.
Get ’em out by Friday!
It’s important that we keep to schedule, there must be no delay.”

Mark Hall of Styx Enterprises: (otherwise known as “The Winkler”)
“I represent a firm of gentlemen who recently purchased this
House and all the others in the road,
In the interest of humanity we’ve found a better place for you
To go, go-woh, go-woh”

Mrs. Barrow: (a tenant)
“Oh no, this I can’t believe,
Oh Mary, they’re asking us to leave.”

Mr. Pebble:
“Get ’em out by Friday!
I’ve told you before, ‘s good many gone if we let them stay.
And if it isn’t easy,
You can squeeze a little grease and our troubles will soon run away.”

Mrs. Barrow:
“After all this time, they ask us to leave,
And I told them we could pay double the rent.
I don’t know why it seemed so funny,
Seeing as how they’d take more money.
The winkler called again, he came here this morning,
With four hundred pounds and a photograph of the place he has found.
A block of flats with central heating.
I think we’re going to find it hard.”

Mr. Pebble:
“Now we’ve got them!
I’ve always said that cash cash cash can do anything well.
Work can be rewarding
When a flash of intuition is a gift that helps you excel-sell-sell-sell.”

Mr. Hall:
“Here we are in Harlow New Town,
Did you recognise your block across the square, over there,
Sadly since last time we spoke,
We’ve found we’ve had to raise the rent again,
Just a bit.”

Mrs. Barrow:
“Oh no, this I can’t believe
Oh Mary, and we agreed to leave.”

(a passage of time)

18/9/2012 T.V. Flash on all Dial-A-Program Services:
This is an announcement from Genetic Control:
“It is my sad duty to inform you of a four foot restriction on
Humanoid height.”

Extract from conversation of Joe Ordinary in Local Puborama:
“I hear the directors of Genetic Control have been buying all the
Properties that have recently been sold, taking risks oh so bold.
It’s said now that people will be shorter in height,
They can fit twice as many in the same building site.
(they say it’s alright),
Beginning with the tenants of the town of Harlow,
In the interest of humanity, they’ve been told they must go,
Told they must go-go-go-go.”

Sir John De Pebble of United Blacksprings International:
“I think I’ve fixed a new deal
A dozen properties – we’ll buy at five and sell at thirty four,
Some are still inhabited,
It’s time to send the winkler to see them,
He’ll have to work some more.”

Memo from Satin Peter of Rock Development Ltd:
With land in your hand, you’ll be happy on earth
Then invest in the Church for your heaven.

So nothing changes, the have’s still have and the have-not’s still pay for the privilege. At the risk of being labelled an anarchist, I think we need a revolution. I’m already involved in trying to change the way money works in this country, maybe part of that should take the form of a more fair levelling of incomes.

In so many parts of the country, the children of current home owners have no chance to buy property in the towns in which they were born. It might almost be seen as a form of social engineering by the people who control the money supply.

Time for big changes me thinks.

The Great Money Delusion

The Great Money DelusionThe capitalist system in western society has caused many of us to become addicted to wealth and be dominated by the pursuit of money and power.

This is at the expense of fairness, sharing and compassion. We are all constantly being measured, to all intents and purposes, by what we own or what we earn, rather than who we really are as a person.

A society that has sacrificed so much to material wealth that it has forgotten the human heart and the best of human aspirations, degenerates into something compassionless, doctrinaire, ignorant and ultra-conservative. When this happens, fundamental solutions to the issues of that society become impossible. If we protect the truth and are resolute, we are capable of creating peace and prosperity, and the truth that we should be protecting has to be high and great.

The great truth of Nichiren Buddhism, the thing that we must do our utmost to protect, involves ethics and the very best of human nature. At the very heart of this lies our duty to protect the truth of life, the truth that we are all one with the universe, and that every single human thought contains the entirety of universal life.

The sooner we realise that this addiction is destroying our human nature, the sooner we can start to right the injustices in society. Failure to take steps to redress the balance of wealth will result in more of the kind of riots and protests we saw across the country in the last few years. We all knock the bankers for their greed and avarice, but we are all to blame to a greater or lesser extent for letting the system continue, and we must do better.

If you would like to help change the way money is controlled and how it dictates the structure of society, you might like to join Positive Money and find out how money really circulates. We need to change the money mechanism in order to make the world a fairer place. The sooner that process begins, the better for all (but the richest) of us.

Ironic Or What?

The Barn Of FollyIt’s a fairly well known fact that 90% of the wealth of the UK is in the hands of 10% of the population, which is a shocking state of affairs in my opinion.

Of course it’s fairly easy to be shocked when you aren’t one of the 10%, but it got me wondering whether I would be any more benevolent if I were.

You may remember the fable about the rich farmer who, having grown his crops, decided that he needed to store it somewhere safe, so that the peasants of the area couldn’t get their thieving hands on any of it. So he set about building a huge barn, and made it secure so it kept out the riff-raff.

It must have taken him quite a while to build it, but finally it was finished, and he was happy that his crops would now be safe. Of course, there was far more than he would ever need himself, but he locked it all away and hoarded it for his old age. Ironically, the night the barn was finished, he died in his sleep.

So the adage that ‘you can’t take it with you’ is anything but new. So I suppose the lesson from the story is, if you have enough of anything, money, food, whatever, you are fortunate. If you have more than enough, you are more than fortunate, and you might consider sharing some of it with others less fortunate, particularly in these austere times.

Less Is Surely More

Less Is Surely MoreSo many of the ills in modern society are driven, if not caused, by our insatiable desire to earn, to own, to use, more and more.

Companies spend millions creating adverts to reach our deepest psyche and flick on the basest of urges, often I suspect, without us even realising the manipulation we are undergoing.

Aside from our own mental suffering, our cravings are having disastrous consequences in third world countries, the collapse of the clothing factory in Bangladesh being an indirect result of our need to ever cheaper garments.

Nichiren spoke of earthly desires being used as fuel for the flame of Wisdom.

Buddhism teaches the converting of personal ambitions and desires, even base ones, into good traits like Wisdom, through altruistic living. A Buddhist doctrine that earthly desires are enlightenment, indicates that greed, anger through violence, and egocentricity can be transformed into altruistic traits such as compassion, trust and nonviolence.

The underlying delusions that drive our desires, including the desire for the development of science and civilisations, can be essentially transformed in a way that changes selfishness into altruism, violence into nonviolence and suspicion into trust.

The Western exploitation of emerging countries, for cheap labour and materials, simply to satisfy an ever growing market is totally unsustainable and must change. Until we can stop enriching certain groups at the expense of others, and concentrate on enriching all people by our actions, there will never be a sustainable peace, economy or even happiness in the world.

When Less Is More

Flames Of WisdomSo many of the ills in modern society are driven, if not caused, by our insatiable desire to earn, to own, to use, more and more.

Companies spend millions creating adverts to reach our deepest psyche and flick on the basest of urges, often I suspect, without us even realising the manipulation we are undergoing.

Aside from our own mental suffering, our cravings are having disastrous consequences in third world countries, the collapse of the clothing factory in Bangladesh being an indirect result of our need to ever cheaper garments.

Nichiren spoke of earthly desires being used as fuel for the flame of Wisdom.

Buddhism teaches the converting of personal ambitions and desires, even base ones, into good traits like Wisdom, through altruistic living. A Buddhist doctrine that earthly desires are enlightenment, indicates that greed, anger through violence, and egocentricity can be transformed into altruistic traits such as compassion, trust and nonviolence.

The underlying delusions that drive our desires, including the desire for the development of science and civilisations, can be essentially transformed in a way that changes selfishness into altruism, violence into nonviolence and suspicion into trust.

The Western exploitation of emerging countries, for cheap labour and materials, simply to satisfy an ever growing market is totally unsustainable and must change. Until we can stop enriching certain groups at the expense of others, and concentrate on enriching all people by our actions, there will never be a sustainable peace, economy or even happiness in the world.

Flames Of Wisdom

Flames Of WisdomSo many of the ills in modern society are driven, if not caused, by our insatiable desire to earn, to own, to use, more and more.

Companies spend millions creating adverts to reach our deepest psyche and flick on the basest of urges, often I suspect, without us even realising the manipulation we are undergoing.

Aside from our own mental suffering, our cravings are having disastrous consequences in third world countries, the collapse of the clothing factory in Bangladesh being an indirect result of our need to ever cheaper garments.

Nichiren spoke of earthly desires being used as fuel for the flame of Wisdom.

Buddhism teaches the converting of personal ambitions and desires, even base ones, into good traits like Wisdom, through altruistic living. A Buddhist doctrine that earthly desires are enlightenment, indicates that greed, anger through violence, and egocentricity can be transformed into altruistic traits such as compassion, trust and nonviolence.

The underlying delusions that drive our desires, including the desire for the development of science and civilisations, can be essentially transformed in a way that changes selfishness into altruism, violence into nonviolence and suspicion into trust.

The Western exploitation of emerging countries, for cheap labour and materials, simply to satisfy an ever growing market is totally unsustainable and must change. Until we can stop enriching certain groups at the expense of others, and concentrate on enriching all people by our actions, there will never be a sustainable peace, economy or even happiness in the world.

The Wealth Delusion

False ValuesSitting reading William Woollard’s book Buddhism and the Science of Happiness, he talks about the way western society has become addicted to wealth and is dominated by the pursuit of money and power. This is at the expense of fairness, sharing and compassion. We have become, to all intents and purposes, what we earn or own rather than who we really are as a person.

A society that has sacrificed so much to material wealth that it has forgotten the human heart and the best of human aspirations, degenerates into something compassionless, doctrinaire, ignorant and ultra-conservative. When this happens, fundamental solutions to the issues of that society become impossible. If we protect the truth and are resolute, we are capable of creating peace and prosperity, and the truth that we should be protecting has to be high and great.

The great truth of Nichiren Buddhism, the thing that we must do our utmost to protect, involves ethics and the very best of human nature. At the very heart of this lies our duty to protect the truth of life, the truth that we are all one with the universe, and that every single human thought contains the entirety of universal life.

The sooner we realise that this addiction is destroying our human nature, the sooner we can start to right the injustices in society. Failure to take steps to redress the balance of wealth will result in more of the kind of riots we saw across the country last year. We all knock the bankers for their greed and avarice, but we are all to blame to a greater or lesser extent and we must do better.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: