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Monday, November 1, 2010

Pride and Humility

I’ve been thinking about the pride cycle documented time and time again in the Book of Mormon.
The people experience times of prosperity, ease, and comfort. At first, they acknowledge their blessings as coming from God, but after a few years, this prosperity turns into pride, greed, and eventually wickedness and war. During the period of wickedness, the prophets heavily preach repentance and a turning back to traditional values. The resources they previously had are now gone and the people are more desolate. This lack of necessities is critical in turning the hearts of the people back to Christ and for the people to experience humility. They learn to live off of what they have and use things more efficiently. They then start to prosper in the land and the cycle repeats.
Examining these situations, I always thought of it as more of a personal or familial based cycle than an economic cycle that is seen in larger regions. These past few weeks I’ve been seeing this more on a national scale. The 1990s were fairly good to us, they created a sense of security. We estimated that with the economy doing so well, we would most likely earn more money in the future than what we were currently making. This drove us to feel comfortable buying homes we couldn’t afford; especially with all the incentives of buying homes in the early 2000s.
Now we see that many people are without resources. They are lacking the financial resources to carry on. They are also lacking the emotional and spiritual resources to find peace.
When the Nephites were humbled, what was it that sent them to their knees? They were without goods and had very little food; they could have chosen to be depressed, addicted, or helpless. They could have blamed God, government, and neighbors. I’m sure they did pass blame, but they must have learned that sitting around blaming everyone doesn’t plant crops, build homes, or solve other problems. Some probably did choose depression, suicide, or some other malady. But SOME, the ones we want to look at, survived.
How did they survive? I think they must have decided to do what was necessary, not complain, and do the work. Once they were working, they gained an understanding that crops don’t grow themselves. They don’t plant themselves, water themselves, weed themselves, or self-harvest. They also learned that there were things beyond their control; the rain, the sun, the soil condition, the quality of the seed, the insects, and the animals. Thus, they learned that there was a force outside of themselves that they should reverence and show. This took time, but eventually their situations turned around and they found their needs met.
This applies to my life (and maybe yours) because I feel that I am in that spot where it’s time to choose. Do I choose to be upset and hopeless that my house has lost the value that it had when I bought it? Or do I choose to make updates to my home to increase its’ value?  When I see that my commission numbers are lower, do I blame the economy and enjoy extra time off? Or do I work harder to maximize the contracts I do have?
The problem that I see with our country is that it is far easier to blame someone else than it is to work, maximize current resources, and focus on solutions.
With that said, I must get back to work! This baby isn’t going to feed herself!

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