The economic downturn the world now experiences brings us much fear and pain. Yet, this time of less has much to teach us. It is also a time of irony which etches onto our consciousness the painful realities of life that can convey strength and wisdom.
A full page advertisement appeared in the New York times on the weekend of Thanksgiving.
It's heading read: HERE'S TO LESS. The source of this statement was the DE BEERS FAMILY OF COMPANIES-the world's famous producers of diamonds whose logo is likewise widely known-A DIAMOND IS FOREVER.
I was deeply struck by the words of this ad as they transmitted a message so unlike its ordinary urging that the world buy a thing-a diamond-with the implication that of all things the diamond is forever, it is an item of permanence and eternal value.
While the strains of "Diamonds are a girl's best friend,"echo a similar sentiment, the aim of this particular ad belied the song's seductive declaration . Allow me to share the words of this message. They ring out with a resonance of spiritual reality for which we can all be grateful at this challenging time.
"Our lives are filled with things. We're overwhelmed by
possessions we own but do not treasure. Stuff we buy but never love.
To be thrown away in weeks rather than passed down to generations.
Perhaps it will be different now. Perhaps now is the opportunity to reassess
what really matters. After all, if everything you ever bought her
disappeared, what would she truly miss?"
Clearly implied in this statement is a subtle reminder that the diamond is the sole object of value which can "Be passed down for generations" and the "she would truly miss!"You can't avoid the obvious need of a corporation to promote its product however difficult the times.
If seen spiritually, however,these words can tell us something entirely different. What is of ultimate worth and meaning is not a thing-even a diamond's value is transient- but rather the indestructible importance of the intangible yet real gifts of human life- love, compassion, gratefulness and shared joy.
As this season of gift giving surrounds our everyday awareness, I am grateful for the ability to recognize the eternal value of that which is internal to our lives, the blessings of the human soul.