15 November 2008

"Too Much Of A Good Thing…"

"Is wonderful." That’s what Mae West said, at least. How about too much of a bad thing? Silly question of course. And yet, looking at the economic crisis in my state and nation, what I see is an abundance of too muchness.

Wall Street couldn’t get enough subprime mortgages, and essentially choked on them. They ate themselves to death like Tribbles (see a Star Trek website for an explanation if you need it). Here in Michigan we did the same thing with automobiles, gorging on their lucre long after we should have put up some in jars for a rainy day like the one we’re having now.

Everyone wants to cash in, be it tulips in Holland, gold in California, dot coms, hedge funds or Texas Hold’em. The lure of striking it rich drives most of to act like cattle, so we stampede from one thing to the other and then wonder why there’s not enough grass to eat.

Green is the next fad. If we are lucky, that is. But it will be a fad. I sincerely doubt we can cure people of the romance of striking it rich, but wouldn’t we be just as happy if we enjoyed what the woman who was a school nurse and whose memorial I am doing today said some years ago – “Each person [should find] out what they’re best at, and then do it. I get more than I give.”

We think we want money. What we want is purpose. Rev. Warren is not wrong about that. But in my opinion his is just a different form of currency. “Get rich – be happy,” turns into “Get Christian – be happy.”

Now if only someone would say that you don’t need to be rich or Christian or even happy to have a purpose filled life.

I’m working on it. Believe me, I’m working on it.


Anonymous said...

Ah....the Trouble with Tribbles.

One need not be driven to have purpose. I am learning that as I try to be in my present moment.....having the drive to be present is somehow not being truly present though. Round and round I go......

Revwilly said...

I am a Christian. I don't need to be rich, but in comparison to most people in the world I am and so are you. And I am very happy, but don't need to be that either. Being at peace and content no matter what is the goal.

Will Clegg

Revwilly said...

Fred, you don't need to post this, but I think you are very wrong about Rick Warren. Have you ever met him? Talked with him? We conservative/evangelical types are not all the same. I think you'd be surprised at how much upon which we agree on things. I watch you on TV and find myself resonating with many things you say.

Will Clegg

WFW said...

Hi Will,

In response to your comments:

- Purpose or meaning trumps contentment. Maybe one leads to the other, but there are contented people who have no purpose, so they are not synonyms. Happiness I prefer to link to purpose, a notion akin to virtue which is a little bit antiquated these days. Oh well.

- I mentioned Rick Warren in a positive sense, that he perceived the genuine need for living purposefully. What I question is the automatyic assumption that all anyone needs is evangelical Christianity. True for some, no doubt. True for all? This I doubt.