Don’t let being well-off come in the way of being well
In today’s materialistic culture, being well-off is enthroned as life’s primary, if not only, goal. The pressure on us to accumulate the trappings of success – flashy clothes, sleek car, big house – is almost universal and unrelenting. It makes us believe that being well-off is the only way to being happy, being peaceful, being well.
But this belief is questionable. People whose life-purpose is to be well-off frequently suffer from stress, hypertension and other lifestyle-induced health problems. Their obsession with being well-off and with showing off makes them into workaholics who abuse their body and mind beyond healthy working capacity. Their workaholism also alienates them from their loved ones, leaving them with dysfunctional families. And of course, they have no time for their spiritual side.
When they are battered by life’s inevitable upheavals, the hollowness of their ambitions becomes exposed to them. If they introspect honestly and seek guidance in scripture, they realize that their obsession with being well-off is the single biggest obstacle to their being well.
In the Bhagavad-gita (02.08), Arjuna confesses candidly the inadequacy of being well-off according to the royal career chart, which glamorized sovereignty over the world as life’s crowning success. Thereafter, the Gita explains to Arjuna how a strong spiritual foundation in the form of a dynamic devotional connection with God, Krishna, is essential for lasting wellness. Why? Because our spiritual side alone is lasting – everything material is changing, so it can’t provide lasting wellness.
When we are enriched within by our devotional connection, we can pursue success in a balanced way because we are driven not by the destabilizing desire to show off, but by the harmonizing aspiration to glorify with all our spiritual and material gifts our beloved Lord, the giver of all those gifts.