Friday, January 27, 2006

The Rich Young Man and the comfortable blogger

I meant to post this last night, but all my Bloggers had vanished so I went to bed and read a BOOK instead! …

How do we cope with the idea of selling all we have and giving to the poor? Can we in fact do this sort of thing in our time and place?

From this the discerning might gather I’ve been at Bible study. I find these challenging moments stick like a burr and require further thought. There is sometimes a longing for a greater simplicity in life – but I think life for us is so beset with the civilisation whose benefits we enjoy that giving everything away would merely lead to its dissolution. And then someone would have to step in and bale us out – no?

Complete single-mindedness is surely simpler when life is whittled down to basics. Look at the hero of Polanski’s film “The Pianist”. He seemed most able to focus on surviving when he’d lost everything – home, parents, siblings, dignity, a piano to play. His music survived in his head and he concentrated on staying alive.

Conclusion for tonight: don’t let possessions matter. Use them, but don’t worry about them. Focus on what is important – to do that I need enough. Just that.

And enough includes my laptop!


  1. Anonymous4:55 PM

    I think it is time you wrote a book...

    Indeed though. I've always said that before we take care of our possessions, we must take care of ourselves.

    Funny I should read this now. I have just come out of a teaching seminar, where I ripped apart the Wizard Of Oz and explained the story from a philosophical point of view, and somehow managed to link it to the world of teaching. The whole class think I am nuts and that I have too much spare time.

    Don't know why that is relevant to your blogger but i'm feeling smug and had to share. Next placement is in lochend... i think. Oh the joys!

  2. If you're nuts you're halfway to success in teaching ;-)

  3. I think you're right Chris. Gosh that was difficult! However I think that having kids makes it even more difficult to go for the simple life.

    Having come from a very working class background and having 'progressed' into the professional middle-class, I find myself (perhaps wrongly) wanting to make sure that my kids stay 'comfortable'. Therefore the acquisition of 'things' in the form of property and transferrable wealth becomes more of an issue.

    Would they be happy simply to have had love, care, fun and the best guidance I could give them ? Probably ... because that's what I got from my mum - no 'things' - just that.

  4. Duffy - I feel a self-publicity moment coming on: I *have* in fact a new book out - the latest poem collection, "Who - me?", is at last back from the printers!
    Don - at least there's no money in poetry, so that's one area of activity I can pursue with a clear conscience.