TaN: Today, any human endeavor that involves money will always be about the money. If you listen intently and critically when someone is trying to give you unsolicited advice and appear to be very concerned about you. Listen carefully and when it all sounds to good to be true, it will eventually lead you to purchase something – sometimes cleverly masquarading it as a “donation”, an “offering”, a “contribution”, and all other crap. The only difference between them and sales people is at least the latter are not hypocrites – they say it up front that they want your money, unlike the former who pretend and disguise their intentions with flowery and enticing words and glib. They are cowards, with no an iota of intestinal fortitude to say it frankly and openly to your face that they are after your money.
Every move or act by man today costs money. The greed is beyond obscene; obscene does not even begin to describe the intensity and gravity of the desire for wealth – as if they will live forever to enjoy it all or can take it with them when it is time for them to go. We are born into this world with nothing and the most that we have when we die is the clothes we wear. All the real estate we will ever need is just a 1 by 3 to 5 meter plot or a simple little urn. Whatever wealth you have accumulated will be left behind and picked and fought over by those you leave behind. All your efforts will be for naught. In the words of the late astronomer-philosopher Carl Sagan, in a tribute documentary to him entitled The Pale Blue Dot, “On it [planet Earth] everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘supreme leader’, every ‘superstar’, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. … Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. … Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.”
I fail to see the point of amassing such amounts of wealth – far beyond what we will ever need or spend, wasting all that time and effort for something that will crumble into eternity and oblivion anyway. I fail to comprehend the logic of the people – whom we cannot say are not educated, not smart, not intelligent – who yet fail to see beyond the wealth, that all their efforts will be futile.
Instead, why not concentrate on making life easier for everyone? In all the supposed billions of years – if science is right – all that was, is and will always be. In all the eons, nothing (as we are conscious of) was increased nor diminished. All (that we have come to know and comprehend) is as it has always been and will forever be. The only change escaped everyone’s awareness – the souls that have come, that are, and that are yet to come and will eventually go.
As we travel through time, the only enrichment in this universe comes from our deeds – nothing else. All wealth (as we regard them) are illusions and delusions. To the universe, they are as they have always been, just like every other thing – no more, no less. Only the good that man does matters. Only the good that man does increases no end – knows no bounds, knows no limits. Only the good that man does endures forever.
TaN: Heroes or heroes? Just a couple of days ago (from this writing) up to today (which was last week), two events arose that I cannot help but react (again) – the announcement of a boxing champion regarding his plans of seeking higher public office (to the point of the highest office) and the world’s (especially the Filipinos) nonsensical obsession with beauty pageants (especially the just-concluded Miss Universe pageant).
I shudder at the thought that someone whose most outstanding skill is to pummel another person senseless has ambitions of being a Chief Executive. I admire this frankness and his good intentions but I cringe at the thought that – having witnessed many past elections where the most incompetent nincompoops and greedy parasites of society won – such people will be determining the destiny of the nation. The professional politicians will run rings around him – even if he will surround himself with so-called experts and technocrats. And, as if to add insult to injury, we have the media not being satisfied with just doing their duty of reporting of such trivial events as beauty pageants but even join in the fray and milk it for all its worth (including her wedding plans), giving it miles and miles of media coverage that could have been allocated to more important and pressing matters.
No wonder, aside from the fact that no country every progressed without a strong and robust manufacturing sector and supported by a well compensated labor force, one of the significant reasons why the Philippines cannot extricate itself from its own self-dug hell hole is its propensity to give importance to mundane and worthless issues and topics – such as gossip and the lives of other people (Great minds talk about ideas; Average minds talks about events; Small minds talk about OTHERS).
Our paradigm for a hero has degenerated – with a lot of assistance from media and the advertising and public relations industry – from Gat Jose Rizal, Andres Bonidacio, Apolinario Mabini, and Melchora Aquino, to sports figures, entertainment personalities and celebrities, fashion icons, and notorious public officials. The latter are even beyond scraping the bottom of the barrel. [However, just for the record, I am not belittling all sports figures, entertainment personalities and celebrities, fashion icons, and public officials. Most are praise-worthy; it’s the few that make the rest look bad and we have the media to thank for their “hero” status.]
Finally, even among those who are worthy of emulation, we find small incidents that tarnish their stellar images – such as senators who engage (even in cameo roles) in movies and in advertising (such as billboards), as TV personalities endorsing products (directly or indirectly, like using their shows to endorse), as journalists who write or accept ghost-written infomercial articles, and as public officials who put more effort into gaining media exposure and into campaigning for the next election than performing their sworn duties.
I can dream, can’t I?
TaN: The end of the world is found in the Holy Scriptures; it is just a matter of knowing what to look for. It is true that the appointed time is only known to the Father – for not even the Only Begotten Son knows. However, it has been written the pre-condition by which the Father will finally come to express and implement His day of final judgment. The fateful time is the moment the Gospel has been preached to all the world, then the end will come – Matthew 24:14 [KJV] “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” The problem now is how to tell when is that moment when the Gospel has been preached to all the world.