Thursday, August 5, 2010
If there is a heaven and hell, one might think that the profiteers would go to hell and those that put the public good first would go to heaven. I know a hard working plumber named Frank. He charges a fair price and does a good job because he knows that a good reputation is his best chance for success. He takes his money and buys a boat and clothes for his wife. Frank doesn't give a hoot for the underdog. And he makes sure that his plumbing works, because he doesn't want to be called back to do the same job twice. Is he a moral person? Frank never gives a penny to charity. Frank doesn't even care if the underprivileged get food or shelter.
Where will Frank go when he dies? Yet, when Frank does his good work, people consider him a "godsend."
I know another plumber named Joe. He goes to church every Sunday and gives 1/10 of his income to the church. Joe is a "first class slob." Most of the jobs he does need to be redone by Frank. His church tells him that he is a moral person and that heaven is assured because of his tithing. Is it?
Do we choose vendors (restaurants, barbers, mechanics) because they are moral, or because they do a good job? Do we really care that their mission is to make money (and the more the merrier)? Could the world function without any "morality" or "compassion"?
I told my grandson Charlie what my teacher told me 60 years ago... that a work of art is finished when none of the original idea remains. So...