All I need

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Viewpoint with Rev. Don Miller

How much money do we need to be happy? 

Enough to pay your bills? Enough to get the kids through school?

Enough to drive a safe car, go out for a nice meal, or save a little for retirement?

Just how much cash do you think you need to be happy?

A well-meaning tourist from out west once made the off-handed comment to me that there were two startling things that she noticed about the Maritimes. First, she was startled by how depressed we were.  I’m assuming that she meant economically.   

I guess our houses were not as big as hers.  Maybe our town had a few less businesses.  Perhaps our tax base was not as broad, or maybe we didn’t plant as many flowers in the spring as she did. 

She then went on to say the second thing that startled her was just how amazingly friendly she found everyone.  “Even strangers on the street would smile and stop to say hello”. 

I asked her if she thought that perhaps the two were related. 

I remember the first time I travelled to Cuba I knew that the people there were poor.  So because they were poor, I half expected to encounter people who were sad or angry.  I found just the opposite to be true.  People were full of joy and happier with nothing than most of the people I knew who have everything.

In Philippians 4:19 we are told that God will supply all our needs. Maybe not our every want and desire, but certainly all that we need. 

I’m sure we have all had day-dreams of what it would be like to win the lottery. Everyone usually tells of lists and lists of the people and organizations that they would help if only they won.  But we know the reality is that poorer folk are more likely to give than richer ones. It’s as if a large amount of money makes people feel threatened. The more they have, the more they want.  A vicious cycle begins.

So maybe someone’s worth is not to be found in the number of bills in their bank account. Maybe someone’s wealth is to be found in their relationships. Maybe success should not be measured in the acreage of our property, but the number of smiles that greet us on our street.

As far as Amherst goes...it too supplies me with all I need.

Geographic location: Cuba

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  • Jim G
    May 20, 2014 - 10:33

    Everyone has a viewpoint. Not sure where this person was from but maybe she lives in a very unfriendly place and has never visited anywhere else. I know of other provinces where people are much friendlier than Nova Scotia. The houses in Nova Scotia and in particular some in Amherst are the biggest in Canada although the values are much lower than small houses in large cities. As far as acreage is concerned there are large acreages that can be purchased in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for the same cost as a brand new smaller car. Most people do not look around to figure out the tax base of a place so I disagree with this part. My view point is that as you do achieve some success than money becomes less important. There are greedy people for sure that want more but I have met wealthy people and they can be nice too. These people have big responsibilities too especially if they are running companies or managing large organizations. Sometimes I wonder why they keep going once they have enough money to retire with all the headaches and problems that they have to deal with. For private companies one small mistake can bankrupt the company and not only wipe out the wealth but put people out of work. The publicly traded companies have the people at the top always worrying about the share price because if it shows a downward trend then all the union pension funds will sell the shares making matters worse. The people running both public and private companies need to ensure all the taxes get paid and there are a lot of taxes (income tax, property tax, wcb, cpp, ei, business tax, water tax, hst and more). Of course the taxes fund all the organizations that appear not to be money hungry and greedy but these are all money hungry and greedy because once the funds stop rolling in everone gets laid off. There is no reason Nova Scotia can not have a strong economy with some hard work and some leadership at the provincial level. The biggest problem is related to money but not really greed. If you have a strong economy than people can get jobs in their chosen fields. In Nova Scotia once you get s degree or trade ticket you are expected to spend 5 years working in jobs you are overqualified for before getting a chance or realizing you have to leave the province to work in your chosen field. In some other provinces as soon as you get the paper in your hand you can get a job and in some cases work part time in your chosen field while you are studying. I am not anti religious but if you learn how to manage what money you have as a normal part of everyday life you may find things are a bit easier than trying to figure out how much you need to be happy. Finally, because of transfer payments the economy is propped up so things are worse than they appear to be. There is a saying in Canada that due to transfer payments the poor living in the so called rich provinces fund the rich in the so called poor provinces. Don't believe? Check it out for yourselves next time you see a headline in a newspaper or magazine on this topic.

  • Silas
    May 16, 2014 - 19:03

    God, ...he is by far my favourite fictional character....

  • David Wyatt
    May 16, 2014 - 09:05

    God has always been kind to me and has seen to it that I get all I 'need' to provide food, shelter etc for myself. And, as a bonus, He's always added a little extra to help others in need.