Too Much Prosperity?

concept A question I received: What is the difference between the states called “seven fat years” and “seven years of famine”? How do they apply to our world?

My Answer: “The seven fat years” (seven good years) is the time humanity strove to reach prosperity. We wanted to accomplish a good life through the technical, scientific, social, and political revolutions. Just a few years ago, Americans claimed that they were the most successful in achieving prosperity since they were a consumer nation. The more people consume the greater the overall affluence. Now we discover that a consumer culture is not sustainable; we are destroying ourselves and our planet. We cannot continue on the path of consumerism because there are limits to everything.

Forecasts for the future when I was a child painted a much different picture of our current state of affairs. I was told that when I grew up I would work only four hours a day instead of eight, I would use the rest of my time for cultural pursuits, I would have a two month vacation, and children of the future would be well educated and more culturally developed.

However, people today work a twelve hour day and barely take vacation. Education and culture are in dire crises. Families break apart. The majority of humanity exists in desperation and depression dependent on antidepressants and “recreational drugs.” We have come to the state where “the seven fat years” have ended and “the seven years of famine” (the seven bad years) have begun. The “seven years of famine” occur in order to bring humanity to the decision that it no longer wants to continue such an existence.

So now what should we do? The people in ancient Babylon faced the same dilemma when their egoism exploded, as ours has now. And the advice given by Abraham at that time is applicable today.

“There are two possible solutions here. Do you want to spread out around the entire world, while the purpose of creation is to bring us to similarity with the Creator?” “Do not escape your mission,” Abraham warned, “It is inevitable that you will come back to it in four and a half thousand years.” And of course, Abraham was speaking about our time.

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