Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Discerning What Matters
Hence, my suggestion is this: If you want to live a meaningfully better life, you're going to have to make the dangerous choice to dissent. A life lived meaningfully isn't denominated by digital friends, designer logos, or wads of paper notes. It's denominated by what you've lived, what it's worth to you, and what that's worth to humanity. That's the heart of eudaimonia, a new economic paradigm based on fulfilling human potential — not creating and marketing useless stuff.OK - This is right about dissent and different values, but oh so wrong about what values to adopt.
The first challenge is seeing through the empty promise of opulence. But the second, tougher challenge is refuting it. To do that, we're going to have start living heretically. We're going to have not just disbelieve the conventional wisdom — we're going to have to defy it.
First of all, I think it counter productive to discuss this in either or terms. Consider this, "Pursuing the paycheck first and last is a great way to spend your life desperately unfulfilled." I actually find it quite fulfilling to pursue a paycheck, provided I do so in the proper perspective. We're not all, in fact I would bet most of us, as artists, or ministers, or singers or other "fulfilling" occupations. A lot of us are just people that need to support families.
But it is the support, not the acquisition of the support that matters. There is no problem with having - only if having is the goal.
And here is the real bottom line, productivity IS fulfilling, but acquisition is not. Money s a measure of productivity, but it is not the thing itself. We are all productive for many reason and in many ways, and when we know we are productive, we are fulfilled. Problem is, in any cases we do not know when we are.
One other point - productivity adds to the common good. It produces something needed by the common good. Acquisition removes from the common good.
Think about it.