What does acting courageously mean? Courage is doing what is right, even though you know that it may cause you personal sacrifice, even though you are afraid. But who among us is willing to give up the safety of his pleasant existence? Who among us is willing to sacrifice his own gratification to protect the very process that enabled us to live the way we do? Who will give up "I want because it makes me feel good" for "it may not feel good, but my children will inherit a better world"?
Isn't it interesting that the economic standard of living of United States consumers and our revered open, competitive market, only helps us make decisions about what we want to buy. So much of our lives is focused on this "efficient allocation of scarce resources". But the economy is ominously silent on, and doesn't have much to do with our desire to be allowed to think for ourselves, make decisions for ourselves, and say what we believe, other than expressing our opinions through what we buy.
Maybe it comes down to this, are we satisfied with the epitaph "he was a good consumer"? When we are dead, do we want our children to remember us with "he sure owned a lot of stuff"? Is this the ultimate destiny of humanity? Is this the best we can do? Is this what we want to do? Or is there something in addition to consumption of goods and services which we should be doing? And who will have the courage do it in spite of their fear?
April 14, 2004
April 14, 2004