Thursday, August 18, 2011

Some Things are Sacred

"Money Rules Man" by Ben Heine
To possess the wisdom and forethought when I was young that I do now would surely have been a sacred blessing. As I have gotten older my priorities in life have changed drastically. Instead of looking into the future as an endless and boundless journey, I have come to realize just how finite the road that lies ahead of me really is. Time is running out; I have nearly reached the middle of my expedition (at least I hope so) and what motivates me now in my career choice has not differed than it did twenty years ago: money. I must make a lot of money, but not for the same reasons as when I was a young man.

No longer am I driven to the single-minded pursuit of the stereotypical American Dream. No longer am I motivated by society’s standards that constantly tug, pull, and drive me as an American to “make more money,” which is peddled as the modern yellow brick road that promises to lead me to "Paradise." The root of happiness is nurtured and grows from within; a lesson I learned thanks in part to the quipping escapades that life has dragged me through. Happiness should be the pursuit of what cultivates the heart, not what grants us the ability to gather more inanimate objects that will soon, like us, rot and return to the earth. As author William Faulkner said in his Nobel Prize Award speech, we should, “help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past."

As Americans we have become so consumed with monetary gains; a big house, a fancy car, the latest and greatest cell phone, that we have truly lost sight of the precious things in life. One would have thought that author Bill McKibben was the anti-Christ judging by the reactions from his peers when he proposed “the $100 Christmas” concept in his article “A Modest Proposal to Destroy Western Civilization as We Know It: The $100 Christmas." In this article McKibben describes how his family and church community have adopted the idea of limiting their Christmas budget to one hundred dollars, not “because [they] wanted fewer batteries. [They] wanted more joy." American author Mary Arguelles drives this obsession of material possession home in her article “Money for Morality” when she says, “I fear that in our so-called upwardly mobile world we are on a downward spiral toward moral bankruptcy."

What motivates my choice for a career as a writer is one that is not only fulfilling and rewarding, but most importantly, one that has the potential to make a lot of money. Not for a fancy car or a home with far more rooms than I have need for, but one in which affords me the means by which to spend more time with my family and friends. As McKibben said, “Some things are sacred."

Michael A. Walker
Defying Procrastination 

What are your life goals? What motivates you? How have your views on life changed as you've gotten older? I want to hear them.

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