There’s an interesting story hitting the news sites these days in which evangelist Pat Robertson started talking about money-grubbing Jews. It’s not what you think.
Robertson was speaking with a wealthy Rabbi about money issues when he wondered what it was that made Jewish people prone to wealth (I’ll tell you why, they value education. End of story). Why they polish diamonds rather than fix their cars or mow their lawns. The Rabbi immediately recognized it was a compliment and began preening away about how he pays someone else to mow the lawn and fix the car.
What I find fascinating is that a thousand years ago, a hundred years ago, even fifty years ago such a statement would have been made as an insult. The predominate feeling was that Jewish people were more concerned with making money than with doing the right thing. That money was more important than leading a good life. That Jews put the pursuit of money before all else.
The new Christian paradigm is that greed is good. Pat Robertson was unequivocally complimenting Jewish people. He wanted his own flock to emulate their wealthy ways.
This is largely not what religious Christians believed until fairly recently. There are a number of factors driving this change in attitude, not in the least is the very close relationship between Evangelical Christians and the Republican Party. I don’t want to get overly involved in why attitudes are changing. It’s just an interesting phenomenon.
I do want to say that greed is not good. I’m a fan of Ayn Rand and it pains me when I see people equating greed with her central message of Objectivism.
I absolutely believe people should be rewarded for achievements. That by rewarding people for doing well we encourage more people to do well. But I think the Republican Party, and their allies, have it in reverse. We should do great things because it makes us feel good. We should achieve because when we achieve we help ourselves and everyone around us. If rewards come to us from these achievements that is natural and good. But we don’t set out for the rewards.
I write my books because it makes me feel great. I love the sense of accomplishment when I finish a new book. I love hearing that people get enjoyment from reading my books. I haven’t yet gotten any financial reward for writing my books. Would I love to make millions? Yes. Will I keep writing even if no one ever buys my novels? Yes.
Why? Because doing what you love will make you happy, regardless of the reward. Life is long and if you don’t spend it doing things you love, longer yet.
If I wrote books with an eye to making money I might succeed. Perhaps I should have written a moody vampire novel and maybe I’d have made millions. I’m not sure. But I know the books wouldn’t have been any good. I wouldn’t have poured my passion into them, my love. Books like that wouldn’t have made me happy, no matter the financial gain they gave me.
In the end you have happiness. Are you enjoying your life? Will chasing money bring enjoyment or will doing the things you love bring it?
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Spear of the Hunt
Coming very, very soon: The Broken Throne