Saturday, October 23, 2021

Money - Part Two

Fame or self: Which matters more?
Self or wealth: Which is more precious?
Gain or loss: Which causes more pain?

Those who are attached to things will suffer greatly.
Those who save will suffer heavy losses. 
Those who are contented are never disappointed. 
Those who know when to stop do not find themselves in trouble. 
They remain forever safe. 

Tao Te Ching of Lao Tsu, part 44:
Translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English with Toinette Lippe.

Thank you again Brian. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

To Be Authentically Human


To see truly and live fully:           

This is what it means to be authentically human

                      Jacob Needleman 

Monday, October 11, 2021


This post might seem to be a bit dark. I have been thinking hard about a saying my grandfather learned from watching his parents. 

Grandad grew up in a family where everyone worked hard. His parents had been poor in England and immigrated to Canada where they found work. They bought a house. Money became the measure of all good for his mother and father, and my grandfather and his younger brother were sent out to work very early in life. Everything they earned had to be turned over to their parents - after all, they had to pull their weight. Such practices were not unusual in that time, but as a result of his disappointments, Grandad saw money, and the drive to acquire more and more, as the root of all evil, and said so. 

Over my life, I found a balance to this - earning money as a way to provide for family, and help others in my community - not so evil. 

Now, here is a dark story that has haunted me for over three decades. An acquaintance's husband, who had been a pharmacist, had recently passed away. In conversation with his widow, I was told that her husband had developed a treatment that he believed would cure cancer, but nobody in the scientific community was willing to believe or even test his idea. When he died, his treatment went with him. I have no idea whether that husband was deluded or a genius who might have ended a terrible scourge. 

In thinking about that possibility, what occurred to me was how many jobs in hospitals, research facilities, and fund-raising efforts would have been lost had this pharmacist indeed found a treatment to end all cancers. And the dark thought accompanying that is the sure knowledge of how determined the research community responsible for testing his idea would have been to suppress such knowledge. And why, might you ask, would they do that? One word: money. 

To what lengths would someone go to protect their fortune? Where else has truth been suppressed for the sake of money? Cigarettes? International relations? The food industry? Climate change? Social media? The "war" on poverty?

Feel free to add to the list ...

Now for the difficult questions: 

What can be done to find a better way to reward hard work and intellect? 

How much money is enough for any one individual?