If I’d lived my life by what others were thinkin’, the heart inside me would’ve died

I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity

Someone had to reach for the risin’ star, I guess it was up to me

"Up to Me" by Bob Dylan)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Giving Back

I found the following quote in Forbes magazine:  "I believe that God plays this enormous role in my life. And I believe that it's my obligation to give back..." (Ronald Perelman, billionaire)

Pondering the remark while getting the typical knee jerk reaction to the smug expression of the rich and aspiring rich: to give back... What may I ask are you going to give back? The grandeur of the give back is correlated to the inflation of ego and vanity of the philanthropist---and is indirectly correlated to an impoverished view of the universe! Allow me to explain...If I fully appreciate the grandeur and mystery of the universe and its great, unmeasurable wealth---I stop and wonder 'what is the wealth of man?' Even the richest of the rich---Forbes400 list 2 trillion combined net worth---what kind of dent in the bucket are they going to make in terms of giving back?

Consider the tapestry of dawn, the rainbow ribbons of clouds at sunset, the misty pond's ecological habitat, the crash of the wave, your DNA, quantum numbers, the galaxy...I could go on like this enumerating the incalculable beauty and majesty of nature and in not one of these scenarios would the wealth of the wealthiest turn out to be anything but chump change.

Perelman's remark only highlights a naive vanity, and pride---when I ponder the truth of nature and it's god---the only true God---I realize that the prospect of giving back in any material sense is hyperbolic and absurd. The only give back possible is thankfulness, love and the action of my soul. The only give back is a pure heart. What can I return to god or nature for my existence, can I really donate something as pure and clear as a fresh running stream? The answer is no---I can only give my authentic being---which is my only truth and real worth.

"What profit a man if he gain the world and lose his soul...." These words from the great teacher indicate a rhetorical question whose answer can only be: "none!" This answer should be Perelman's or any other do-gooder's answer about giving back--- if their view of god and the universe were in harmony with Jesus' words---instead they believe in their own wealth and unwittingly ascribe to a faith in the god of mammon and hence must make a return, the give-back, to quell their conscience before the inequality toward their human brothers. Yes, it is easy to calm one's conscience by making oaths to a God you have never seen and scarcely believe in, or at the very least a God whose kingdom you are completely ignorant of, because you perceive the world in terms of wealth and power which is alien to the true kingdom of God.


Beetles and Bees said...

Hey Peter, I don't know if you remember me, but I think you certainly will. I just bought a tin of Genmaicha and recalled the tin you brought back for me from California, which I still have, though it is after all these years quite stale. Are you on Facebook? It would be nice to be connected once again. I hope this finds you well. --Karli

Scriptor said...

Definitely, thanks for the comment, life is very rich at the moment. All the best to you and your family.

And...days, days, days runaway
Like wild horses over the hill...