We have no choice but to change our dreams.
Over decades, we have been chasing our dreams. A dream we believe in brings us more choices, more happiness, more fulfilment, and more satisfaction. However, we realise that the endless dream has become our own prison. This is not just a prison of financial burden; it is also a prison of anger, greed, comparison, competition, hatred, jealousy, anxiety, despair, etc. Over the years, we have suffered emotionally without knowing it. And we allow ourselves to continue to suffer precisely because of our DREAM.
We have no choice but to re-examine our dreams.
The more we further our research, the more we realise that our dreams are not only killing ourselves, but the way we live our dreams is also killing our future and future generations. We become murderers. Lynne Twist, a global activist, says, “We are living a ‘dream’ that threatens the entire planet’s health and well-being.” It’s true. We notice that our dreams don’t just contribute to our inauthentic and short-lived satisfaction, enjoyment, and self-interest; sadly, our dreams also contribute to environmental degradation, depletion of natural resources and destruction of humanity.
‘Wealth’ comes from the old English ‘weal’, which means welfare and wellbeing. But sadly, our dream about wealth is not in line with the full meaning of it but is all about self. Over the years, our dreams led us to focus on accumulating more and more wealth only for ourselves. We’ve come to realise that we’re accumulating too much of what we don’t need, too much materialism, too much consumerism and too much harm to Mother Earth. As Gandhi said, “There is enough for our need but not for our greed.” It is such a good reflection for us.
We have no choice but to change our way of life.
However, it takes courage to let go of the dreams we have fought for since childhood – the materialism, consumerism, and the semiconscious to accumulate more. Yes, it’s challenging… But when we started to practise simple living, it allowed us to know what enough is enough. As Lynne Twist mentions, knowing there is enough inspires sharing, collaboration, contribution and many more possibilities. With this, it brings us harmony with nature, people, the future and ourselves. Dana Meadows, an environmental scientist, also says, “one of the most fundamental laws of the earth is the law of enough.” This is so true. The earth provides us everything with love, but the earth does not have enough love from our way of life. She is very sick now, and we are deeply affected when she is very sick.
We have no choice but to change our way of thinking and seeing things.
Looking deeply, we can sense that, value is not found in the amount of money, but in relationships with money. We have to break through it, redirect our money and dream to a higher commitment toward a more sustainable future for all.
We realise, “financial peace of mind – it’s not a goal, it’s not a plan, but a practice, a humanistic wealth practice”.
We are still practising.
This journey needs conscious and consistent effort.
This journey needs continued and collective courage.
This journey needs you too.
Maxine Chan and Stanley Gan