America is kind and giving nation. The American people give to others in greater abundance than any other culture in the world. However, America is a greedy nation and engages in horrible acts of violence to perpetuate the satisfaction of greed. Is there a balance that must be achieved? Do these concepts have implications for the types of leaders that should be permitted to make decisions for the rest of us? Finally, is there something in our nature that will unlock God’s will in all of this?
What Does the Lord Say?
I spend a great deal of time and effort revealing the evil of many of our leaders. And for most of the evil-doers, it comes down to one thing:
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
1 Timothy 6:10
Yet, the Bible speaks very clearly to the fact that Christians should be giving and this belief is expressed in the following scripture.
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Despite the admonition to be a giver rather than a receiver, we see that the word of God also honors hard work and achievement.
Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.
One could be understandably confused. However, as the Lord intended, it is not a matter of either or, it is a matter of balance and priority.
The Lesson of Giving and Abuse of Power from My Childhood
One of my friends had a sister that was handicapped. The handicap does not matter now for she passed several years ago. However, I vividly remember how this poor girl was tortured by children her own age who should have been helping her. I was mortified when I would witness this bullying. At the age of 12, myself and some of my friends made it one of our missions to show this girl, Linda, kindness and to defend her against the unwarranted teasing and psychological torture that she experienced. We called out kids in the neighborhood who teased her. We shamed them in front of their peers and eventually the cruelty greatly diminished.
I asked my father why some kids would engage in such hurtful behavior against someone so innocent and defenseless and he told me something that I would never forget. He said that “some people feel superior to others and feel good about their own lives when they can make others around them miserable while they engage in abusive behavior”. He explained that the bullies in life are really insecure and true men defend those who are defenseless.
What my father told me actually is rooted in a social psychology concept called Social Comparison. Social Comparison is where our ego is enhanced when others are miserable in a “my life may suck, but at least it is not as bad as the next miserable person”, approach to life. The psychological benefit to this approach of self-aggrandizement is short-lived because it is not based on achievement only on the misery of others.
Years later, while in graduate school, I read the following quote from a Noble Peace Prize winner and I instantly reflected back upon what my father had told me at the age of 12:
“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation”
As I tried to reconcile my considerable ambition for accomplishment in life, I wondered if I was an exploitive human being because of deep-rooted competitiveness and desire to win. This attitude made me a good sports competitor and later an effective coach, but did it make me a better person? What is the balance that needs to be achieved?
Spare Me Your Excuses
I am distressed because more than half of the polled millennials express a preference for socialism. I am absolutely opposed to any economic concept that is socialist in nature. I believe that people can pull themselves up by their boot-straps. Except for extreme circumstances and taking into account for mental, emotional and physical affirmities, I am opposed to the welfare state created by the Democrats because it has produced generations of Americans who do not want to work and as a result will never experience the joy of setting, pursuing and accomplishing goals. In short, I am an ardent capitalist. However, as with everything in life, there must be a balance, and in America, we have lost that balance between gathering and giving. And unbridled capitalism produces exploitive human beings. This kind of philosophical outlook promotes self-determination. The downside of this belief system is that it can produce a narcissistic, self-serving attitude which promotes the belief espoused by the late, great football coach Vince Lombardi when he said, “Winning is not everything, it is the ONLY thing”. This is where self-determination and ambition can become destructive and people become objects to be used.
This belief system, when combined with unrestrained greed, has produced some of history’s darkest moments. At its core, this is what I find myself fighting against. This unbridled attitude of “I need more, more money, more power… more domination over the people in my life.” Can anyone say “Hillary Clinton, George Soros, et al…”.
He Who Dies with the Most Toys, WINS!
If you are over 40, you certainly remember this expression of greed that came with our 1980’s culture. This is certainly the attitude of the globalists and our own Deep State. This exploitive worldview is fully on display with our collective attitude toward the pseudo-holiday celebration we call Black Friday. In a nation in which 78% of the people are living paycheck to paycheck, the last thing this country needs is another excuse to go further in debt, but that is precisely what people are doing as you read these words. In the following video, I encapsulate the financial and spiritual folly behind Black Friday.
This hedonistic, self-serving attitude is destructive and will leave such people empty and unfulfilled in life. There is another way to live our lives.
Our Brains Are Hard-Wired to be Givers
The world of biology provides the final answer to the ambition vs. giving controversy. The late Dr. Wayne Dyer related the following in his book, The Power of Intention when recounted what happens when people engage in random acts of kindness.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which carries brain messages, that contain meaning, from cell to cell. Serotonin wears a lot of hats. It transmits messages of fear, sex, and hunger. However, it provides us with a feeling of emotional contentment and well-being. Serotonin lifts our spirits and makes us feel good. Consider what happens when one of us engages in an act of random kindness:
- The observer of the act of kindness experiences a small bump in serotonin levels.
- The recipient of the random act of kindness experience a greater bump in serotonin levels.
- Amazingly, the giver of the random act of kindness experiences the greatest bump in serotonin levels.
In short, the creator, our precious Lord hard-wired our brains to be givers. However, to be a giver, we must have something to give. Therefore, all three of the scriptures, listed above, are accurate. We should work hard to achieve the fruits of our labor. However, we should use our resources and accompanying power to help people, especially those who are less fortunate than we are. Therefore, in this holiday season, I would encourage all to continue to work and amass the fruits of labor. However, be generous and work to help others. We all will feel better. I hope you are enjoying your THANKSgiving weekend and at the same time, staying out of the malls on this Black Friday which only serves to increase your debt and enrich those who would enslave us.
Finally, this has major implications regarding who we select as leaders. In short, if we want better leaders, we must first be better people. If we were better people, electing people who are successful servants, would only make sense. We have no one to blame but ourselves for the presence of Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Graham, McCain, Clinton (2), et al.