American Dream or American Greed…

In these last few months, since being evicted from an affordable long-term rental, my wife and I have found ourselves relying on a nearby relative and airbnb rentals in order to avoid camping. It is winter, though mild the lows still drop into the high 30’s on occasion at night and with our health situation, not ideal to be exposed like this if we can help it.

God love all the true homeless who must endure this kind of lifestyle.

We have been dancing between a relative’s place and airbnb rentals. The ironic thing is that the airbnb rental craze was one of the primary factors which has caused landlords to give up their monthly renters and move into the vacation rental arena, where they can earn double or even triple what they might get from a monthly rental situation.

Airbnb has decimated the local housing markets all across the California coast and most likely throughout various areas of the United States and abroad. And the Founders of Airbnb were no doubt attempting to find the American Dream and many believe they found it. Yet in truth, they have begun yet another American Corporation that makes a few people rich and millions more poor.

This craze has severely reduced the availability of monthly rentals and doubled or tripled the rental cost for the few remaining long-term rentals. This makes it all but impossible to live in many areas of California now.

Sure, a small percentage of these Rentee’s who attached themselves to Airbnb and evicted their tenants – did so in order to supplement social security checks, help a sick relative or stop a foreclosure on their home after the loss of a job.

The vast majority, however, are attempting to, as George W. Bush infamously said: to be one of the “haves or have mores”.

This growing group of Americans have plenty but are ruthlessly “upgrading” their lifestyle, to have more.

The very act of having more than you need is the seed of greed.

I’ve always loved backpacking though I cannot physically carry a backpack into the wilderness anymore. You take only what you need. Few of us can take this frugal lifestyle approach into our day to day lives. Yet we must. In my world the more stuff you have equals insanity, chaos, anxiety and yes, greed. More possessions to take care of, utilize and protect. I’m not interested in this kind of self-absorption, thinking only about ‘I’, “me” or “mine”- while millions try to eek out a simple existence.

Taking only what you need, then you help feed hungry mouths in need and step out of greed. Can someone please turn that into a hit rap song?!

Here’s the great kicker. Most Americans live in a ‘consciousness of lack’, which co-exists with an ‘ever-increasing greed’. They are like two sides of the same coin. Lack-consciousness, feeling ‘I don’t have enough’, how can so many believe in this fable, when they have so much?!

Only through non-investigation, not inquiring deep enough, can we live this way. What exactly are we are protecting or trying to uphold?

When we stop long enough, we realize the insanity of following thoughts and beliefs about lack. All of our concepts crumble. We get humble. The Universal is served in this way and we wake up from the trance of separation and the need for more.

The American dream, the way it has been portrayed and perceived, is purely a fictitious creation based on greed (striving for more than we need and not sharing), and ignorance (ignoring the truth that our fate is inexorable linked to all living beings).

So begin today to create a new American dream by taking only what you truly need. In this way we ensure that ample is left for the rest of creation.

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