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Money ruined him

“A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.” Jonathan Swift

By Alex P. Vidal

WE have been reminded that money is not evil per se, or   possession of money is not really evil.

The want to have money for specific reasons and purposes can’t and should not be considered as evil.

It’s the excessive love for money, or its excessive possession for excessive, irrational and wicked purposes that is the root of all evil.

Everybody is seeking for money, but it is the seeking that counts, as money is not always a blessing when it comes.

In a story narrated by Dr. Frank Crane in Everyday Wisdom, there was a man who won $20,000 for suggesting the name “Liberty” to a popular magazine.

“He is now charged by his wife with the abandonment of her and his four children,” narrates Crane.

Crane says the first thing the man did with his prize money, his wife claimed, was to buy a six-cylinder touring car and a quart of liquor.

She also said that he kept paying $5, $10 and $15 tips to taxicab chauffeurs and bootleggers.

“Before he won that prize we were in pretty poor circumstances,” said his wife. “We were in debt, but at least we were happy.”

LIFE

The question in life is not only who is going to receive the prizes, but what people are going to do with them.

Crane warns that winning a beauty prize may mean moral and spiritual ruin to the successful contestant. Beauty is of no advantage unless used beautifully.

“Many a man has found it harder work to take care of his money when he got it than to get it in the first place,” observes Crane. “If he makes a large amount of money he finds all society arrayed against him. Beggars assail him, tradesmen overcharge him, and the government taxes him. He finds that the possession of money renders him a marked man.”

A man with a large fortune is in one respect like Cain, for every man’s hand is again him, according to Crane.

So there are two sides to success.

It is a question whether success is more valuable as a goal to be attained than it is as a goal which has been attained.

Those on the way up to it get plenty of advice and sympathy from others. Those who have arrived do not receive much sympathy.

“It takes considerable training to be able to take care of money,” counsels Crane. “And often people who are suddenly raised to affluence do not know what to do with their possessions.”

LARGE

Certainly if receiving a large sum of money induces a man to take up extravagant and bad habits and to desert his wife and children it is a bad thing for him.

The same thing is true with the possession of any talent. A man may be a great violinist, a great pianist, or a great speaker, and his success may ruin him as a man.

It is very difficult for anyone who is extraordinarily endowed in any way, either in money or talent, to keep his faculties in balance.

Crane issues a warning: “The best condition for a man is one of struggle and uncertainty. While he is struggling he is automatically kept normal and in check. That the majority of the human race is not on Easy Street is a good thing for the race.”

If every man were a millionaire the world would speedily go to the devil.

It is the fact that most people need to worry and struggle along with obstacles that keep the world sound and sane.

 

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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in EDUCATION

 

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We pray amid poverty in Christmas

“Silent night! Holy night! Guiding star, lend thy light!” J. MOIER

By Alex P. Vidal

CAN prayers save us from poverty? Will there be a miracle if we pray hard for gifts and for Santa Claus and his reindeer to knock on our doors this Christmas season?

Francis Galton, the progenitor of human genetics, said in his 1872 Statistical Inquiries into the Efficacy of Prayer, that he could find no evidence that prayer is effective. Galton found no scientific grounds for believing that prayers are answered. But he conceded that “prayer can strengthen resolve and relieve distress.”

Because of poverty, many of us continue to find it increasingly impossible to enjoy “the most exciting season of the year”, the season that carries a strong emotional resonance for many Filipinos. We continue to pray nonetheless. We believe that “prayers can move mountains,” as the saying goes.

As obedient Christians, we continue to follow the church-mandated traditions on how to celebrate Christmas.

Christmas is probably ideal only for those who don’t have a daily bout with financial difficulties.

Many people now begin to believe and realize that society celebrates the so-called season of the birth of Christ heavily from the commercial point of view. We equate Christmas with material possessions.

When think of gifts, decorations, parties, wines, caroling, merrymaking, vacation, etcetera, we think of extra funds and extra expenses.

MONEY

Christmas has become synonymous to expenses and money. Without extra funds, many Christians tend to develop a morbid feeling of insecurity and inadequacy.

How can one actively take part in Christmas parties and gift-giving binges if he does not even have enough to buy a decent meal for his family?

However, we can always celebrate the Yuletide season on a different perspective: embracing the spirits of love, humility, simplicity, forgiveness, hope and understanding.

Expecting nothing and continue living a simple life is a key to overcoming anxiety, stress, emotional and mental anguishes if we don’t have economic capacity and abundance in life.

A very interesting piece about science and Christmas has rekindled the debate whether the scientific worldview somehow undermine the religious beliefs that are the basis of Christmas for so many people.

Science has been viewed suspiciously as a force that turned people away from God ever since 1916, according to Roger Highfield, author of The Physics of Christmas. In that year, an oft-cited survey by James Leuba of Bryn Mawr University found that 60 percent of American scientist did not believe in God.

Highfiled revealed that the finding caused a scandal at that time, prompting warnings from politicians about the evils of modernism and accusations that scientists were leading college students away from religion.

PREDICT

Leuba himself predicted that disbelief among scientists would only increase in the future.

“But research conducted recently, repeating the 1916 survey word for word, has proven Leuba wrong,” Highfield contends. “The proportion of scientists who believe in God has remained almost unchanged in the past eight years, despite the enormous leaps of discovery made during this century.”

Highfield cited Edward Larson, from the University of Georgia, and Larson’s colleague Larry Witham, from Burtonsville, Maryland, who questioned 600 scientists listed in the 1995 edition of American Men and Women of Science. It reportedly achieved the same results as Leuba: about 40 percent of scientists believe in God.

“The future of Christmas and Hanukkah in our increasingly technological age seems assured,” concludes Highfield.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2014 in CHRISTMAS

 

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