Economic Recovery, Working for the Good of Allby Glen Spendlove on Aug. 14, 2011, under Economic Recovery
We meet many people in our associations along life’s journey. And our heart seems to leap with joy when we find others who share values that we hold in high regard. Often these individuals are referred to as being kindred spirits. And even if we do not agree with these friends on every topic, we are tied together by moral threads (heart to heart).
One of the values that I hold dear is the desire to improve my environment through the principle of work.
Calvin taught that all men must work, even the rich, because to work was the will of God. It was the duty of men to serve as God’s instruments here on earth, to reshape the world in the fashion of the Kingdom of God, and to become a part of the continuing process of His creation (Lee Braude, 1975, Work and Workers, New York: Praeger).
I have reflected upon this value again recently as I have watched the television series, “American Pickers.” The show follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they travel around the … [United States] buying antiques and collectibles.
Every show opens with the following lines narrated by Mike & Frank:
We travel the back roads of America looking for rusty gold. We’re looking for amazing things buried in people’s garages and barns. What most people see as junk, we see as dollar signs. We’ll buy anything we think we can make a buck on. Each item we pick has a history all its own and the people we meet are a breed all their own. We make a living telling the history of America…one piece at a time.
I think that is a pretty good summary of what the show is about. Especially if we emphasize the last part of their show’s intro. They are on a mission to uncover hidden treasure; to bring that story to America. And to me that is what is great about America. I love people working at their chosen profession, improving their own life, and the lives of so many others.
These two modern day treasure hunters (boys who have never grown up) are American stars in my mind. They love what they do and allow others the joy of sharing what they have accumulated and loved with a new generation (rescuing both treasures and collectors).
I am glad that they are able to make a profit at doing this. And I am glad that they are (as far as I know) not subsidized by tax payers.
Do not get me wrong. I have nothing wrong with private citizens donating to a cause of their choosing. And if some individual(s) chose to setup an organization to help fund the type of work Mike & Frank do, so be it. However, I have major concerns over those who would force you and me to donate to a cause of their choosing. On the other hand, like Mike & Frank, I do believe in Karma (that the goodwill we give to others will return to us – in this life).
In summary, I do believe that a capitalistic self-interested system is in harmony with a moral life, but only if one tempers this view with a love for one’s fellow man, with a belief in mercy and benevolence. Greed is not good, but making a profit is not bad (esp. if one pays forward the blessings of life’s abundance).