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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Material Value!

A number of  years ago a mentor of mine asked a question of me and my friends. What is the prevailing motto of our generation? After a fairly short discussion we were unanimous. "Get all you can get!" This motto seems to not only be the cry of a generation but a nation. It crosses all race, age, and creed boundaries in America.  Jealousy is a relentless task master! This creed dictates that we must do whatever is necessary to get "it". Even if we must forsake our family, our friends, our beliefs, or even our own health, we "must" prevail in getting our materialistic fix. Then we apply phrases or conditions to justify our greed quest. "Well, you have to have that" or "we can't do without this". Personally I hate the phrase "have to" it is applied to far to many things. So many have gained so much and yet find so little happiness!

So many have achieved the "American Dream" of possessions only to end of in the nightmares of family disasters. What good is a big house and 2 cars? The sad answer is something to fight over in a divorce. What is the price of climbing to the top of the corporate ladder? A phone call in the night to come get your kid out of jail and the realization of the gang life he now leads!  What is even worse is we now seem to measure the value of our family and friends against this materialistic rampage. Some let their greedy quest decide who they should be friends with and which friends to part ways with. Seems like everyone has a pyramid scheme or get rich product to sell you, and if you don't buy in then you are not a friend worth having.  If the only reason you call me friend is because I help your checkbook stay in the black then we won't be friends for long. Others look at family and contemplate can this loved one get me to where I'm going.  Everyone knows at least one person that divorced one spouse for another because of their career path or family trust fund.  Yet we blame the crooks in D.C. for the erosion of family values?

One of my favorite sayings is "Is there nothing sacred to you?". There must be limits and boundaries on your relationships. If there is no line you won't cross, then sooner or later that so called loved one will realize that they are nothing but a stepping stone for you. Then with more and more family parting ways we find alternate ways to fill in the gaps. This is where manipulation comes in. Since you hold nothing sacred you must use the ideals of others to use against them. You must become the master of their world in order to keep them in line. The alternative is to sit in your lonely materialistic castle with nothing but regret as your companion.  Through my journeys that involve teenagers I've come across a number of young people who have shatter families beyond comprehension. They would give anything for an ordinary family. They already know what is important and it's not things. Some of us have families that are to good to us. Some of us need to see life through the eyes of these young shatter people.

If you have family, please let no materialism come between you and them. When you get married the pastor says "let no man separate". Make that your motto with your entire family. Instead of dreaming about the newest toy you want, why not invest some effort into bettering your relationship with your spouse, kids, and family members?  In the end your ride to the cemetery will not be accompanied by you possessions. It will be accompanied by your family and friends. Live each day with that thought and you'll live know what is truly valuable!