Tuesday, July 30th
Personal fulfillment or worldly success – that was the theme that echoed through several counseling meetings I had over the last few days. Alas, ours is a culture that holds worldly success as sacred. Why else would we have a ‘president’ who stresses winning at all costs, and being great (and so on)? Why else would we have that haunting picture of a couple brandishing their guns at a peaceful demonstration, determined to protect their opulent home against an imagined threat?
And yet, it’s hard to believe that money is all there is. What is becoming increasingly obvious to many of us is that personal indulgence has a way of encroaching on others’ human rights. My feeling of entitlement to certain luxuries does not out-vote the needs of certain other people, whose daily needs are not being met.
Don’t tell that to our gun-toting citizens, though. They have sacrificed to the gods of wealth, and they believe only in the holiness of their amassed fortunes. What they don’t believe in is happiness, or love, or anything much except their grasp on money.
I am sad for such people, because I recognize in myself that I am attached to my physical comforts. I am just like them in many ways. How can we say to ourselves, as well as to others, that a new world is waiting to be born, and that it may require us to relinquish certain things?
The answer is pretty simple, actually. Without some happiness, some love, some connection to others, the physical trappings of this world aren’t worth very much.