Consumer vs Contributor

Happy New Year !!!

I got a lot of greetings on all possible communication media like email, SMS, facebook, etc. The most popular greeting was “Wish you a happy and prosperous New Year”. In fact, I too wished a few people with those words last year. But I am thinking if we are reflecting a “consumer” mentality or a “contributor” mentality.

When a person wishes me “happy”, is it “may people and situations make you happy” or is it “may you make people and situations happy”? When a person wishes me “prosperity”, is it “may you enjoy prosperity” or is it “may you create prosperity”? Even when I pray “Oh Lord, protect me from bad things”, do I mean “bad things that others may do to me” or “bad things that I may do to myself and to others”?

In short, what is my attitude to the world? Am I a consumer or contributor? Do I want to be a burden to the earth or do I want to be a nett contributor? Do I accept the situation where I work more than I am paid for? Do I give more to my job than I get from it? Do I give more to my family than I get back? Do I give more to the society than I get from it? … Financially, physically, intellectually, emotionally, morally, …? Am I a consumer or a contributor?

Anyway, Wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.

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  1. Sir,

    Wish you a happy and prosperous new year. Sir i think whether you contribute or create it for you only.

  2. I don’t think people mean anything when they greet. It is just a ritual, a behaviour that they learned from society. It is more like people saying “bless you” or “Krishna Krishna” when someone sneezes. Of course someone can give a meaning to this behaviour. If there were any meaning to greetings it is merely a ritual now. By greeting we are not loosing anything so why not do it?

    • I am not saying we should not do it. Let us not keep the ritual devoid of its essence. Let us put some heart and thought into it. When we do that, let us also think on these lines.

  3. In Sanskrit there is a sloka that says- “Sarve Vavantu Sukhina”. It means let the whole world be happy. We are also a part of the whole world so ‘the whole world’ includes us also. Thus both the consumer and contributor are included.

    Now coming to the main discussion is it not true that a consumer (of happiness and prosperity) is essentially a contributor also and a contributor a consumer? The sun disperse light because it has. I give something because I have. Thus, if I am happy I am going to disperse the same to the world and vice versa is also true. On the humor side one must gain weight first to loose it…. 🙂

    • A lot of people live as burden to the earth, their only contribution may be as negative examples to other thinking people as how not to live. It is a different thing that Nature has its own balance. It will extract its due from them sooner or later.

      Given the balance in Nature, things have to balance out. But what should our attitude and focus be? Vedanta talks of the three stages of a person – bhokta, karta and jnata. Bhokta is when he is a consumer. Karta is when he develops into a Karma yogi, where he focuses more on his contribution. Jnata is when he becomes a self-realized person. Moving from being a consumer to a contributor (in attitude and focus) is a mandatory step towards spiritual development.