$250 DKNY shoes
$125 Ralph Lauren jeans
$80 Ralph Lauren polo shirt
No I am not trying out for a Vanilla Ice video.
Let me explain.
Every year around this time, my wife donates to a charity that helps NYC kids in need of clothing and supplies for their first day of school.
In past years the kids requested Tweety Bird backpacks, socks and underwear. Simple things, easy to donate.
This year, the kid she was paired with requested the above items. It was a little disconcerting. Or was it?
Was the kid wrong for thinking big?
Don’t we learn from every self-help blowhard to ask for the glory! Shit…if the kid read The Secret, he would have also asked for $5000 in cash and a Santiago Gonzalez croc skin backpack (value $5,550) to carry all his “visions”.
We all do it. Who doesn’t dream of material pleasures. C’mon…what’s on your vision board? Homes, cars, first class vacations, dare I say…a jet?
When I was young, I had a very simple dream…a girlfriend. I had the hardest time getting a date. It was always a source of frustration. The girls I liked just didn’t like me.
And then I learned, by accident, universal law.
Some friends and I started doing yoga in LA in the mid 90‘s. We loved the way yoga made us feel. So we opened yoga studios in Arizona. We shared with all of our yoga students that feeling you get in a yoga class…self-love, inner peace, connection.
And in return, something wonderful happened. I have more love in my life than I could ever imagine. I learned about universal law.
Life is never about getting things. It’s about giving things. That’s how you heal your money karma.
You’ve heard it a million times in a million ways.
“For it is in giving that we receive.” ― St. Francis of Assisi
“The degree of loving is measured by the degree of giving.” ― Edwin Louis Cole
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ― Anne Frank
But unless you are living in a monastery, this universal law never really sinks in. We go on wanting, needing, trying to take as much as we can from the world.
Today you and your kids are surrounded by advertisements of all the things you need to buy (like the DKNY shoes), the neighborhoods you should aspire to live in, the achievements you should hope to have.
And so you settle in for a long Monday, working hard so that you can afford that life.
But all the while, tucked away in your heart, is a shortcut, a secret route to the happiest and most abundant life.
Today, how can you, how can I be more generous?
It’s not always a matter of giving money or things. Clearly, getting the kid the DKNY shoes is not going to improve things.
The other night I heard a beautiful parable:
A student asked his Oriental Master what hell was like.
The Master replied, “Hell is like being at a long table full of wonderful food, where everyone has four-foot chopsticks, so nobody can eat.”
The student then asked what heaven is like.
The Master replied, “Heaven is like being at a long table full of wonderful food, where everyone has four-foot chopsticks.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Ah. In heaven, everyone feeds the person across from them.”