Two COVID-free family members came to join our bubble for the Christmas holiday. Today we entertained ourselves by renting a boat and spending a few hours on the Butler chain of lakes, home to a few of Florida’s wealthiest residents.
We floated by large houses, huge houses, grand houses, beautiful houses, houses obviously worth millions. I admired the architecture, the embellishments, and pictured myself in residence.
As we passed, I thought of the amount of money represented by the house, landscaping, and location. Beyond the envy, there is, of course, the notion of extravagant, conspicuous consumption, and at one point in my life, I might have voiced a negative feeling of waste and unfairness in the distribution of wealth.
That is always a concern when one thinks of all the people on this earth who have no place to live, no food to eat, no access to clean water or health care. But not taking our boat outing today would not eliminate those global concerns, nor would the elimination of all those glorious houses.
And while we boated, a silent prayer formed in my mind. I prayed that the thousands of construction workers responsible for such beauty received fair compensation for their labors. I prayed that the thousands of material suppliers kept their businesses in operation by the purchases of goods needed to complete the construction.
I prayed that the landscapers employed to keep pristine grounds enjoyed their employment. I prayed that the staff who might maintain the properties, the housekeepers, the cooks, the nannies were working because their employment was a positive, mutually beneficial experience.
I prayed that the monies payed by the owners for taxes were used for the benefit and upkeep of projects in the local and state communities.
But most of all, I prayed that the residents of those magnificent houses had turned them into magnificent homes that fed the spiritual energies of all who crossed their thresholds.
And I was thankful for this experience with my family, under the sun, on the water surrounded by such beauty.