Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's so easy

Tonight was the first small group of a Lenten series on the 7 deadly sins, centered on a movie clip (tonight's was Wall Street -- guess the sin) then conversation about aspects of the sin du jour.

There were certainly several ways to view the concept of greed, from defending capitalism and the notion that someone has to take a financial risk to help other people/nations build wealth, to the destructive forces of corruption and having more than more than one's share, which the Greeks apparently believed to be a sin versus the ideal scenario of having just more than one's share.

For me, what I think it comes down to is trying to close the gap between what I have and what I want -- what I want is to be happy and carefree, and maybe if I have a house and a dog and 401(k) and a trip to Vegas I will be. After all, there are lots of people in my life who have these things and it seems so easy for them -- they got these things easily and are keeping them easily. So they must be happy and carefree.

But I know better, of course. Houses always need maintenance, which costs money and time, dogs need walked and groomed, investment accounts need managed and fretted over when the market moves, and I imagine Vegas to be a place of such desperation that I think I would be overwhelmed by it. And more importantly, I know those people in my life have worries of their own, even if they do seem rosy on the outside. We've been tricked by sitcoms and films into thinking that if you want something badly enough, you'll get it, you're entitled to it just because you want it. If it's meant to be, it will come easily. The lure of "it's so easy for everyone else" is a tempting, slippery slope, and a fallacy.

I have more than my share, surely, particularly in a global view. I don't think I have more than more than my share, but I sometimes think I want it -- I can't help but want it. I don't think I want it in a Gordon Gekko kind of way though, and am certainly not willing to go to dramatic lengths 'cause I know I'll be just as content then as I am now. It's not so easy for anyone else. We're all in it together.

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