~ “What we need is more socialism!” said an older man sitting with me at coffee
“No! The problem is that we have too much government; we need less of it in order for things to go back to normal!” said a young woman wearing a Rand Paul t-shirt.
If you live in one of the failing economic countries of the Western World you have likely come to realize a transcendent truth; the government can’t save you.
With the housing bubble fresh in minds from 2008, failing stock markets, oil prices falling below record levels, and economies that are either on the verge of collapse (China, Russia, USA) or have already collapsed (Greece) the economic and financial sectors of the Western World are experiencing massive cataclysmic changes.
Truthfully, nothing is happening now that didn’t already happen in the past. Economies rise and economies fall, new leaders are elected who promise to save the people and give them better lives, and once elected, not much changes very much.
In the midst of all the ruckus are everyday people who don’t like the humdrum quality of their lives. Some people want to change their job, others want to move to somewhere more beautiful, and others simply want more money at the end of the day and feel less stressed out about their finances.
I suspect it is connected to some element of our human nature, but whenever we don’t like how things are going in our lives we tend to point the blame on others. Some people complain the government is too oppressive and others complain that we don’t have enough government, and even though these two solutions are on different ends of the spectrum; at the heart of each of these ideas lies the concept that we need to change the government in some way in order for our lives to be better.
I have a lot of opinions about government. I’ve read everything from Hobbes and Locke to Plato and Aristotle and I’ve thought out so many different ideas related to how to best operate a government that I’ve probably spent a little too much time thinking about the subject.
However, if I’m going to be honest and put aside my personal thoughts about to best formulate a government for a moment, the real crux of the matter is that no matter what country or government you live under; ultimately you must look to the hills for your salvation does not come from the mandates of other humans.
You see, if you want to change your job, rather than waiting around for someone else to help you or waiting around for the government to formulate the right climate for you, you’ve just got to put things into perspective and focus on what is in your heart.
Of course, we might fail in our endeavors. We might not get everything we want out of life. But that is okay, nobody ever said the good life was going to be handed to us on a silver platter.
—) Do you want to be a writer, start writing
—) Do you want to be a musician, start playing music
—) Do you want to own a coffee shop, start learning what it will take to own one
—) Do you want to live near the ocean, figure out what you will have to change in your life to make it happen
The reality of the situation is that too often we want what we want, and we aren’t willing to make personal sacrifices. The lie of the Western World is that you can everything you want at no cost. Commercials tell us that a trip to paradise is merely a plane ticket away.
Everything comes at a cost, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
In theological terms, Jesus said the cost of following him was giving up everything. Yet how many Christians actually believe and practice that type of Christianity; precious few. Most Christians that I know care more about living their lives than giving everything they have to the poor or making the interests of others more important than their own interests.
One of the reasons Christianity has become somewhat irrelevant in Western Culture is that Christians didn’t want to sacrifice what they want in order to be Christians. And so Christians became wealthy suburbanites, soccer moms, and all-round disconnected people who spend more time accumulating material things than they do serving others.
A few years ago I mapped out on a piece of paper my goals; I realized that some of these goals would be difficult to obtain, but that was okay, because I would rather be working towards something that was in my heart, than merely waking up every day complaining about the economy.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains– where does my help come from?
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society