An Email from a Relative:
I got this forwarded email from a relative who claims to be a Christian. I usually just delete them immediately, yet something begged me to take a chance and read it. I knew it would make me want to respond, yet I knew I had better not. So I recorded my response here and am still mulling over in my mind if my silence is really condoning such attitudes:
A Boss Who Tells it Like it Is..... (an awful lot of truth)
To All My Valued Employees,
There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.
However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.
I find the attitude of this writer arrogant and think he is totally missing the point of what makes life important. This writing makes it sound like what makes life important is how hard you work and how far up the ladder you climb. While I respect people who have worked hard all their lives, I do not believe it gives them the right to look down on those who have not accomplished the same successes.
I do not measure success in life by how much I accomplish, rather what kind of person I am and how I treat other people. While this person sounds like he cares about this country and the people he has been able to hire over the years, in the end, his motives are exposed. His hidden message is what matters is not the people – really – it is the bottom line. Part of his bottom line is that, when the government doesn’t do business like he thinks they should do business, he throws the towel in. He labels a government good or bad based on who they care about. If it is not him, they are reckless or misled. Don’t be fooled by his “worries” for the employees. His words are telling. He is not really worried . . . for he has accumulated enough luxury to live the rest of his days on. And based on this writing, it seems that is all that is important.
I think the real problem with the world is not how poor or rich people are, rather how willing/not willing we are to live in cooperation with our neighbors across the street and around the world. This man prides himself in the fact that all his life he was busy, busy, busy, sacrificing all for his business. His goals? Good old American independence and self-sufficiency. That’s what this country was built on and aren’t we proud! Some American Christians nearly equate these values with godliness.
Well, I’ve always been taught that pride comes before a fall. My faith has taught me that how we love and sacrifice for our NEIGHBOR – not worrying about ourselves – is what makes life valuable. I value interdependence and interconnectedness that is willing to sacrifice for the betterment of those AROUND me, not looking at people as ABOVE or BELOW me on a ladder of false promises.
I admit, mine is a different view on life than this man’s and a very different view on the world. For while I have certainly benefited from it, I don’t put my trust in the market economy. While free-enterprise is part of the back-bone of our market system, I don’t judge my freedoms based solely on what the government allows or doesn’t. While I have enjoyed the security offered by my U.S. passport, my safety is ultimately not based on military might, how nice my neighborhood is, or how much money I have in the bank. I could live in a democracy, within socialism, under a dictator or respecting a monarch. My government could take everything from me, yet it would not change my right to happiness or ability to find success in life. For my success is not based on what I can do or not do, rather who I am and how I treat others around me. I have seen friendships and relationships sustain humans through a host of difficulties and suffering. Where the global economic structures could do nothing, the hands and hearts of neighbors could.
So, ask me? If I’m going to brag about what I’ve been busy, busy, busy doing all my life? It will certainly not be about the money I’ve saved or invested, nor the luxury I expect from all that hard work. It’s going to be about the people I’ve come to know through sharing life together and working to bring peace to a world torn apart by greed and hate. For, ultimately, it is love that is possible through following Christ that is going to make the world a better place.