“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”—J.R.R. Tolkien.
The way to know is, could you leave it all behind at a second’s notice if needed?
How surprised I was when first arriving in the far east to see fat little statues placed in the window of banks with the word “Mammon” inscribed. It’s then I began to understand…
The words of this old, old, song came in my head today and I paused to reflect share a few of my favourite “freebies”. (Maybe you’d like to share some too.)
1)Top of the list has to be love. This one is absolute (in spite of the adverts.) You can buy sex, you might even be able to “buy” a beautiful wife or hunky candy boy, but money can’t make someone really love you (in fact real love, in its many forms tends to be more common among the poor.)
2)Next must come life. This is less absolute, as a lack of money for food, protection, medical help etc. can mean someone loses it, but the gift of life its self comes free to rich and poor.
3)Water. Now I know some enterprising multinationals are trying very hard to get control of this (something to look out for folks! Don’t let them do it – boycott bottled water.) But water has this wonderful tendency to drift right through their fingers, evaporating into the heavens and, replenishing its self, return as free rain. I love water!
4)Happiness. Again don’t be fooled by mass media and all those fake smiling face book or magazine pages. Things cannot make you happy, nor can money, so don’t spend your life chasing the illusionary carrot. I’ve lived long, and social observation is a hobby of mine (I like to learn about people). Whereas happiness can be found in rich homes now and then (generally you find someone with a big heart at the root of it) I’ve found it’s far more often a guest of the poor. (I heard Mexico rated as the happiest country in the world – Mexico??? They have it hard there. Happiness is pretty hard to do a survey on but the conclusion they came to is worth pondering.)
5)Then yes, there’s the sky. Every inch of land most places has its registered owner (especial here in the tiny UK lol!) but the sky is free. Anyone can look up anytime and enjoy it. Of course man has messed it up in some places with pollutions, but just get outside the purple haze and you can feast for free on clouds, light and pure colours.
So that’s my top five, would you like to add a few of yours?
My grandson just surprised us all by getting top marks in his SATs (an 11 year old UK placement test). He has a good mind but has trouble retaining concentration. None of us were expecting he’d do more than scrape by. But it is not of this I wish to speak.
He unexpectedly scored high in another kind of test yesterday. I asked if after school he’d help me get to my allotment and haul the water for me (it’s quite wild and hard to negotiate wearing a surgical boot). We are in the middle of a heat wave and though my allotment friends would water my plot in the circumstances I was not sure how many knew of my accident.
I didn’t know how he’d react. My daughter has a “high flying” job with apple money but little time so tends to pay her kids to do everything. I decided to put him to the test and offer nothing. To my surprise reimbursement was never mentioned, instead he acted the perfect gentlemen lending his arm for the dodgy bits and using his new forming muscle to haul the two big watering cans six times down to the river and back (a 50 yards of windy paths). This whole was exacted without a complaint (that water’s heavy) and total concern encouraging me to rest on the chair during his trips back and forth. Both sweating as we headed for ice-creams (it was over 30 deg. remember) I told him I hadn’t been sure he’d decide to help me. He looked shyly over and said, “of course I’d help you – you’re hurt. You won’t take advantage of that will you?” I assured him I wouldn’t think of it, but I was very happy he’d helped and now the plants wouldn’t die.
He’d passed another kind of test, to my mind an even more important one. I could see, not only was he able to apply his mind when needed, but more importantly he was growing into a caring and compassionate man.
Sometimes in this modern world we can put so much emphasis on IQ and natural abilities, but this kind of test any child can pass and it is, I think, even more important for our planet than SAT scores.
Sometimes we are made to feel guilty,but really it is upside down and inside out.
Whether you believe we are a creation of God or a random bleep of evolution the concept remains. “In the beginning” everything was free. You had to earn it in a sense by foraging, hunting, farming or building, but nothing was owned. Now corporations want to sell us our own water (pretty soon they’ll start bottling the air!)
The basic math is if some take more than they need others have less (and some folks can sure be greedy!)This world belongs to us all, not just the multi national corps. the corrupt politicians that rule or those shadowy figures that lurk behind the scenes pulling the strings.
It was not this way in the beginning and it will not be this way in the end. I’m not against the rich if they use their money in a benevolent way, care for their workers, produce ethical, quality goods, but to a large degree world economics doesn’t work that way.
That’s why I’m so adamantly against the extreme promotion of evolution in our schools.This generation are being taught if you are stronger you have an evolutionary right to prey on the weaker, it’s just nature. I seem to remember Hitler being big on that!
That’s also why I would embrace Christian ethics even were I not a believer. It contradicts evolution, teaching that the strong should care for the weak.
He did not even own a bed,
He had no place to lay His head.
A cattle stall, His crib at birth,
He had no bank account on earth.
He laid the wealth of heaven down
For earthly rags, a thorny crown.
He passed the praise of angels by
And came where men cried, “Crucify!”
He left a throne for you and me
And bore our sins upon a tree.
So strong His claim, so clear His call,
How dare I give Him less than all?
—Barbara C. Ryberg