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Author Topic: Pagans and the Poverty Level  (Read 16146 times)
Owl
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« Reply #45: December 14, 2009, 01:47:04 pm »

Me either and I've been a Witch for years! I tend to find that we (including me) are comfortable rather than rich.

Something to consider - most rich people focus primarily on earning money.  Especially those that didn't start out with money. 
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« Reply #46: December 14, 2009, 02:14:35 pm »

That said, the problem is that we do usually have too much respect for the world to do the things that would require this materialism. Yes we all do wish we were rich, then maybe we could do more good in the world.

That's a bit of a broad generalization, I think.  I'm sure there are many Pagans for whom this is true--just as there are also many people of other religions for whom it is true.  Being un-materialistic is not exactly a requirement for being pagan, though, much less being actively philanthropic.  Frankly, I wish I had more money so that I could pay off my debt and live more comfortably.  If we're talking a steady income here rather than a one-time windfall, I would probably step up my giving after the debt was paid, but it would probably be to organizations like TC or the civic theatre that I'm personally involved in, so that's still sort of self-serving.  (And I'd definitely be putting quite a bit into savings, too.)  I don't wish I were rich, but that has nothing to do with paganism; it's just that I don't really want the spotlight on me and the responsibility of managing that much money.

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My own thought on this is that if you can find a way to make a lot of money without bending your religious convictions, then go for it, but not all of us are writers or artists.

I'm not quite understanding what you mean here...  It looks like you're saying that only a writer or an artist could make a lot of money without bending their religious convictions, but your average writer or artist probably isn't actually making that much money and I would think that it should be possible to do a lot of other stuff without bending one's religious convictions.  Huh  Am I misreading or misunderstanding you?  Could you clarify?
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« Reply #47: December 14, 2009, 02:40:04 pm »

Something to consider - most rich people focus primarily on earning money.  Especially those that didn't start out with money. 

That, and not spending it.  I read somewhere that the average millionaire tended to wear 10 year old suits and drive an old car.  So not spending on conspicuous consumption.
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« Reply #48: December 14, 2009, 05:49:26 pm »

That, and not spending it.  I read somewhere that the average millionaire tended to wear 10 year old suits and drive an old car.  So not spending on conspicuous consumption.

Exactly.  I have a decent middle class income (now that I'm not supporting children), but I am far from rich and have too much to do to try and get there.
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« Reply #49: December 14, 2009, 08:16:48 pm »

My own thought on this is that if you can find a way to make a lot of money without bending your religious convictions, then go for it, but not all of us are writers or artists.

Show me a wealthy artist and I'll show you an artist who sold out their convictions.

So says the artist, who would gladly sell out her artistic convictions to earn a living doing it, so there ya have it.
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« Reply #50: December 14, 2009, 10:39:51 pm »

Show me a wealthy artist and I'll show you an artist who sold out their convictions.

So says the artist, who would gladly sell out her artistic convictions to earn a living doing it, so there ya have it.

Seen that. It was a small painting, so it was a small favor.
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« Reply #51: December 15, 2009, 05:43:09 am »

most rich people focus primarily on earning money

What leads you to say this? Is it that you focus primarily on earning money and feel they are like you, or that you aren't focused on earning money and most other people are not like you? Either way, why do you think this?
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« Reply #52: December 15, 2009, 11:45:43 am »

What leads you to say this? Is it that you focus primarily on earning money and feel they are like you, or that you aren't focused on earning money and most other people are not like you? Either way, why do you think this?

As I qualified later, I meant those who start out without.  And I say this, because most people who become rich do so by working long and hard to get there and stay there.  The few artists, actors, musicians, athletes, etc that make it big doing what they like are not the norm.  Having time consuming activities not connected with the making of money would preclude achieving this.  And I am basing this opinion on my father and grandfather - both of whom were very good at making money and didn't do much else.  Even after my grandfather sold the business to my father and 'retired' he continued to find way to make money.  I remember him complaining one xmas about his tax bill, and (I was in college at the time) I was thinking I wished I just had what he was paying in taxes!  Cheesy

Now, I am an accountant and make decent money, as (I am under the impression from things you've said) do you.  I don't consider the equivalent of 50,000 US$ a year rich - I'm thinking more like 500,000 $US as getting there.  I may be skewed in this, since I work with the amounts that businesses run through their books on a daily basis, but having been well below the poverty level at times, I find what I make now comfortable but no more.
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« Reply #53: December 15, 2009, 01:45:39 pm »

Something to consider - most rich people focus primarily on earning money.  Especially those that didn't start out with money. 
      I am not disagreeing with your statement, but I have to add that there is a difference between ambition and greed on any income level. I have known wealthy people who were generous and community minded, who truly enjoyed the benefits of their money.  I have also know poor people with no ethics what so ever who will resort to anything for personal gain.  My Gods always seem to provide for me (sometimes in strange ways)  but they tend to provide only what I need. The rest is up to me. I don't think they have any problem with prosperity, just don't think it is up to them to provide it. I don't know if it is because I am Pagan or if it is just me,  but I try to maintain a balance in my life. More, just for the sake of having it or for status or any sense of self importance, seems rather useless
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« Reply #54: December 15, 2009, 04:13:22 pm »

Okay, I'm going to try to make this as coherent as possible as it is something I have been thinking about a lot but have been unable to articulate well.

Who I am in relation to the universe is defined by what I do, and my spirituality is the relationship of me to the universe. My spirituality is how I understand my place as a part of the universe. And who I am is so tightly and inextricably tied to service that it is impossible for me to imagine myself without my need to serve. It's like I am born to care for people, to keep them warm and fed and healthy and more than anything safe. It's really hard to explain, it's like a physical ache in the middle of my chest. And my spirituality is tied to that, to sacrifice. It's my way of giving back to the universe and connecting with the divine. It's kind of like Christian communion, communing with the divine and being nourished spiritually. It's like the only way I can nourish myself spiritually is to give bits of me away, but it's not really giving bits away because I'm no less afterwards. I really don't know how to explain it and this is about the best I can manage. The short of it is that I would not survive in a profession that did not involve directly helping other people, I'd go crazy and waste away or jump off a cliff or something.

I'd have to agree, if I were stuck in a job that ended up having no benefit on humanity and / or nature, I would hate every minute of existence. I see no reason to spend my entire life chasing dollar signs.
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« Reply #55: December 15, 2009, 06:26:21 pm »

      I am not disagreeing with your statement, but I have to add that there is a difference between ambition and greed on any income level. I have known wealthy people who were generous and community minded, who truly enjoyed the benefits of their money.  I have also know poor people with no ethics what so ever who will resort to anything for personal gain.  My Gods always seem to provide for me (sometimes in strange ways)  but they tend to provide only what I need. The rest is up to me. I don't think they have any problem with prosperity, just don't think it is up to them to provide it. I don't know if it is because I am Pagan or if it is just me,  but I try to maintain a balance in my life. More, just for the sake of having it or for status or any sense of self importance, seems rather useless

Ok, now.  I never said anything about greed.  We were talking about pagans and income levels.  My point is that if your major focus is something that doesn't leave much time for researching and/or experiencing alternative religions, then you are probably not going to be pagan.  It is a little harder to be a 'sunday pagan' than to be a 'sunday xtian'.  Therefore, if your major focus is earning money (this does not mean evil and greedy) then you are less likely to be seriously pagan. 
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