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Many people spend money to the limit of their credit and thus are constantly in a state of emotional stress. Even elected political representatives are subject to that stress-inducing habit in managing public finances. When they are out of the controlling positions of power they complain bitterly about the other party that is in control squandering money on worthless things. In fact, they are complaining that the other party is funneling money in ways that benefit themselves and not this other party underdogs. This type of spending sets a pattern for everyone else to follow even though it creates problems.

One obvious problem is that it works in the short run for those with access to methods for grabbing more than they have earned. This selfish method works better for those with access to spending other people’s legitimate earnings than for those who are forced to earn their way.

That is a cynical way of saying what George Washington Plunkitt of Tammany Hall fame said back in the late 1800s; later he wrote his book about honest graft. He explained how he as an elected politician sends money contracts to private contractors and then, since he knows where the money is going to be spent, he buys a property ahead of the action and then sells it to the latecomers and developers at a profit. They all make a profit at the public expense. “I seen my opportunities and I took ’em.”

As an ordinary citizen these opportunities are not available to you, and if you are an honest citizen you will probably not choose to seek them. Those life choices which violate other people’s goodwill lead to various forms of excesses which may appear to be desirable, but by choosing that path the profiteers surround themselves with victims. They may feel powerful, and they are in the money, but internally it’s a slimy kind of pleasure. 

A far more pleasant way to live is to surround yourself with kind and loving people and to treat yourself with loving kindness, too. The reward of that honest relationship with yourself and others is contentment and health. However, those people who live by violating other people’s natural rights cultivate a habit that rebounds back at them with a habitual violating of their own well-being. That process is often called karma. We get back what we put out, but the process begins with our own person and we do repeatedly to ourselves what we do occasionally to others. When we violate others we generate the habit of violating ourselves. The other person is hurt by the interaction and moves on a little worse for wear but the violator himself is now living with a person who voluntarily injures people … themselves. And, they can never escape from their relationship with that nasty person … themselves. They can’t walk away from themselves.

It is easy to cultivate kind and loving habits toward others and they will generally treat you well, but the real payback is that you are living constantly with a person that treats you with kind consideration … yourself.

Living modestly and shunning excesses makes it easy to treat other people better than you treat yourself. 

 

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