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Monday, July 6, 2009

Self-indulgence - The new self-reliance

In the developed world, our aspirations appear to have evolved well beyond the notion of self-reliance.

You could not find fault with a person who observes that the definition of self-reliance has undergone a radical revision and now has more in common with self-indulgence than self-reliance.

This new definition is very alluring, as evidenced by the fact that many of us can no longer define, at least from a moral perspective, at what point we would have enough money, possessions, or status. The fact that it has taken a worldwide financial crisis to remind us that there is in fact something out there called “enough”, should be a warning to us all to revisit our moral compass.

Having enough used to be defined within the confines of an appropriate measure of self-reliance. More recently, however, having enough is defined as never having enough.

The tragedy of confusing self-indulgence with self-reliance is twofold.

Firstly, if you cannot define, from a moral perspective, what enough means for you, you are likely to never have enough.

Secondly, and most importantly for the poor of our world, if your definition of having enough does not include helping those who have nothing, they will continue to suffer and perish as they do now.

Never before has it been so important to so many that each of us define, from a moral perspective, what it means to have enough - this is the only way to ensure that we will all have enough.

To learn more about HOPE International Development Agency’s work among the poor, please visit

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