Chasing after the Wind

2007-02-15

In society today, the most proclaimed value might be a love for things. There are billboards on most roads downtown, advertising things that you usually donít need or already have. More than a quarter f a half-hour TV show is commercials for things that you probably never have heard of otherwise. We spend our time working hard at jobs we donít enjoy to earn money to spend on things that we certainly would use if we could only find the time. Possession of good is made the final goal of life, supported by continual claims that that is what gives us purpose. But in the end, what have we gained?

I am not saying that having stuff is inherently bad. There are many things that really do make life better. Playing football without a football would be difficult. Without a good coat, you could freeze to death in the winter. Chocolate has the amazing ability to make life seem better. Besides these, it supports our economy, and when that fails, it is bad news for everyone. It really just isnít fair to say that wealth is fundamentally bad.

On the other hand, I donít think that it is as valuable as many people say. I have never even heard of a scientific study that was able to show a relationship between wealth and happiness, although I have seen a few against it. Having more gives you more to worry about, and seeing a low-priced movie with you friends is a lot more enjoyable that a fancy one by yourself. If you spend your days trying to gain more wealth, you will never be finished; there will always be someone with more Even if you did grow richer than anyone in the world, and could buy anything that you set your eyeís on, do you really think that that would be enough? It is impossible to buy happiness, and you will have insulated yourself from others, blocking out any meaningful connection. In due time, you will die, and you can take nothing from your labour that you can hold in your hand.

So what is left, what is there to gain? Friendship is good, but you must choose your friends carefully, as bad company corrupts good character. Accomplishment has its value, giving you a place in the world but in time, what you have done will be forgotten. Knowledge may seem attractive, at first, and there is joy in understanding, but in time, what you know can bring you to the point of despair. True wisdom is becoming a lost art, and, although valuable, rarely makes your life happier. Although a faith in God can bring contentment and purpose to life, and strength in times of trouble, the true commitment that is required comes at the price of your freedom, and not everyone is willing to give that up. Unless you want to go through life with no goal to strive for and nothing to attain to, you will have to find a purpose for yourself.

Start now.

Response

I think this one was very well recieved. If I remember correctly (no guarentee after 8 years), one English teacher made his class read it.

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