Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Balancing our World

I can't help but feel sorrow over this most recent loss of life reported in my last post. It causes me to pause, take stock of my life, and evaluate whether I'm pursuing the right goals, morals, and activities in my life. Am I watching too much tv, praying enough, doing enough charity work, doing the right charity work, donating enough money, making enough money, doing enough with my children and my family, spending too much time scolding my children or husband, not taking enough time to get to know people, etc. There was an email circulating the internet a few years ago (and it may still be out there) where a person goes to Heaven and has the opportunity to look at the activities of his life which are filed away on index cards or something like that (I always picture an old fashioned library card catalogue). Anyway, the point is that he opens the drawer that contains cards for every tv show he watched and it is enormous and then he opens a drawer that contains the number of scripture passages he read in his lifetime and it is quite minimal.

I know my life would be reflected like that, but I hope that the life I live makes up for my lack of scripture. Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely devoid of scripture, but I certainly can't compete with my in-laws. I keep a bible in my bedside drawer and read it now and again. I just don't know if spending my time and effort on events or organizations such as Legal Aid, the warm clothing drive, programs for underprivileged students, mentoring law students and UTA students, etc. fulfill God's path for me. When and if I ever get to Heaven, will God look at me with disappointment or with pride?

It is a tough question for the morning, but one that deserves reflection and analysis. In my mind, we can't all be Mother Teresa. If we all gave up our lives, our families, our pursuits, our careers or hobbies, our world would be very one dimensional in my mind. I think it is a collaborative effort that must be balanced by all of us, giving what we can and continuing to build a world of industry, charity, family, and education, the likes of which benefit each of us in different ways, although we may not always recognize it.

For example, Chuck provides high-interest car loans for consumers. (We'll all admit that neither he nor I (a commercial litigation attorney who sues widows on occasion) are going to win the Nobel Peace Prize or really any other prize for that matter.) Chuck's consumers are necessarily individuals who cannot find better credit rates elsewhere. Does he benefit from it? Yes. Do his consumers benefit from it? Yes. Are there better credit rates out there? Yes. Are there better credit rates out there that are available to his consumers? No. Do his consumers need cars? Yes. The logic is that Chuck provides car loans at high interest rates to protect the loans being made (and they get defaulted on all the time), and consumers take those loans because they have to have a car to work or take care of their families. It is all supply and demand, I think. (Economics isn't my strong suit, so I'm sure Chuck will want to correct me.)

Although the credit rates are outrageously high in my opinion, it is the perfect example of balancing the needs of industry and consumers so that each party can mutually benefit. So, too, must we balance our world with those who dedicate their lives to industry instead of charity, or family instead of medical research. We must have loan sharks, commercial lawyers, garbagemen, cafeteria workers, wallstreet moguls, etc. to balance out the clergymen, nonprofit organizations, medical researchers, teachers, doctors, etc. So then, isn't it required that this world be at least half occupied with people who won't necessarily have a card catalogue full of charity, scripture passages, and donations?

Enough of my philosophy. It's all just crap anyway.

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