Wealth and Love

Wealth isn’t evil.  In and of itself.  It’s what it does to people.  I know well-to-do people who are loving, kind, and generous–monetarily and personally.  But then . . .

Circumstances have fated me to an ultra-wealthy community.  The atmosphere of this community–the vibe–is alien to me, and unfriendly.  Unfriendly.  The people I am able to talk to, talk a lot about their wealth, their financial doings, the important people they deal with, their several houses . .  . And what is striking about all this–I can handle talk about a person’s possessions, though it is boring–what is striking is how un-humane these people have become in their preoccupations with money matters.  But it is more than unfriendly.  The people I am meeting are often downright hard-hearted, mean-spirited, hard boiled.

Then it comes to their views, largely politically, because they seem to be preoccupied with politics.  I need not say that I am meeting with right-wing predilections.  Uncritical right wing ideas.  Ideas that are right-wing because they are right wing–not because of their truth value.  Ideas that are held by liberals, are hated.  I choose my words carefully, and hatred is the right word for the attitude to liberal people, and by extension, liberal ideas, from the people I am meeting here.  I am unable to ask them, “Take away the label “liberal” and is there any truth value to the ideas that they hold?”  I asked a man his thoughts on global warming.  “I’m not going to believe in global warming just because Al Gore says so.”

Personally, many, most of my views are called liberal.  I hold these ideas because they seem humane.  I do not hold liberal ideas because they are liberal, and I am liberal.  If I encountered right-wing views that struck me as humane, I would hold them.  Are the people I encounter hard-hearted because they are right-wing; or are they right-wing because they are hard-hearted?  There does seem to be some kind of correlation.

My religion teaches love.  Love for everyone–strangers and friends.  This I find missing in the community I currently inhabit.  I search for a heart, and find adamant.  Now there is one notable exception.  I was trying to find a club that a musician friend of mine was playing at.  An elderly, very wealthy man searched his phone diligently and located the club and showed me on the map on his phone how to get there.  I felt a heart.  But I’m not going to give him too much credit.  I believe that he had made me “one of his own.”   Wealthy people do have a heart.  But it strikes me that the heart is for those in their inner circle–fellow rich people and their children and relatives.  I haven’t found that all-embracing love for everyone, rich and poor, homeless and ensconced in a mansion.  Love for enemies?  For liberals?

I don’t want to generalize about all the wealthy.  I know wealthy people who are generous monetarily and personally.  It’s what people let wealth do to them.  Is that why Jesus said, “It is harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter heaven.”

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. audrey brooks
    Nov 19, 2017 @ 08:34:12

    What about a social conscience? Philanthropy? If the world you occupy does not fit your world view, I would ask why you are there.

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  2. davidfekete123
    Nov 19, 2017 @ 10:42:02

    Social conscience would be interpreted as right-wing politics. I believe that they believe the right-wing way is the salvation of society. I am here because of travel document issues, and have no choice but to be here–temporarily.

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