Friday, June 07, 2013
I am a patriot. I love America. I believe in free markets. Yet, worse than the American diet is the prevailing attitude that wealth is associated with money. I have been a victim and perpetrator of the American diet and money-is-wealth attitude. Both are similar.
The American diet tells us that we need bigger portions, to eat more quickly, and to consume high-caloric-low-nutrient foods. Since New Orleans has already claimed to be the "Big Easy," the American diet transforms the "Easy" to the "Big Empty." Like New Orleans, it is a temporary party that just does not seem to ever end. The foods we consume in large portions are easy, fun, and will slowly kill us with promises of happiness which never come to fruition.
Yet, as terrible as the Big Empty diet charades as a joyful way of life, the "money-is-wealth" attitude is the greater seduction. I have seen many people attach their hooks to the happiness of money only to find that their achievements amount to empty, lonely, feelings. The money-is-wealth promise requires that time is consumed acquiring money rather than relationships, hobbies, and the simple pleasures that time provides.
My confession is that I have been guilty of the American-diet and money-is-wealth attitude. I will constantly be tempted by both, but I understand that authentic wealth is correlated with being healthy and taking the time to enjoy time.