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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Me, Me, Me, It's All About Me!

I often think about our American culture and our view of security and being self-sufficient. I hear over and over that we need to start saving for retirement at a young age and sock away as much as we can because before you know it, we will be retired and the government wont be able to take care of us.

So what does this really mean? Does this mean that we are to put everything extra away for that day in the future?

I often think  that if everyone instead of socking their money and resources away, used them to take care of their own families, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, then there would be less struggle in life for so many.

In fact, if we would care for each other, there would be a huge shift in our culture and thoughts about retirement.

Think about it. If we lived in a world where we helped each other out day to day, shared what God has given to us with all the members our our families, this concept and behavior would apply to retirement as well.

If our families chose to freely care for each other, what need would there be for huge retirement savings. Aging parents would always be cared for by their children. If fact, the norm would be that once a person could not work anymore to provide for themselves, automatically family would take them in and care for their needs. I have seen this in Guatemala. I have seen this with some of my friends as well. (And their families are the better for it).

What family wouldn't be blessed to have the wisdom, love and support of a Grandfather or Grandmother in their homes.

Why would anyone choose to reject the needs of others? I can only think that by refusing to care for a family member in need is only due to self-centerdness and selfishness. One who plans for the future while neglecting the current needs of family lives in a world that is only focused on themselves. One who chooses to give a blind eye to the needs of family has made idolatry a greater importance than love.

If being honest, they would truthfully say about life, "It really is all about me."

However, It really is very simple.

When we are young we are cared for by our parents. They feed, love us, care for our needs, ensure that we can obtain a trade, and support us. Then we venture out into the world to find our God-given vocation, and serve others while meeting our own basic needs. Our life isn't to be a life primarily focused on meeting our own wants and desires, yes some of that is fine, but the primary focus should be that of service and love. And when the time comes, and we have a family member, or a parent(s) finding themselves in a place where they need help, we graciously bring them close to us, we bring them right into our homes.

What does a person actually need in life? Actually, only food, water, shelter, some clothing, and love. This really isn't a complicated issue. It only becomes complex when the "Me, Me, Me, It's all about Me" complex becomes a factor. Because this complex is the exact opposite of Love and Charity, our real calling in life.

Yes, one can bring all kinds of factors into the mix, health care needs, etc., but the focus isn't about extending our life here on earth forever, it's about preparing for eternal life.

So as you are socking away your money for retirement, take a minute and honestly look at those in your family, extended Family.

Is there anyone in need?

Is your planning for the future really more important than their current need?

Who's money is it anyway? Did God provide?

Look at your parents, could they actually come live with you? Would their lives be helped by loving them in your home?

What have you made the priorities in your lives?

Would God feel that you have chosen wisely.

1 comment:

Victor S E Moubarak said...

You make a very good point. Unfortunately in modern (selfish) society life isn't like that. People soon leave the parental home and make their way in the world and don't care for their parents.

Near where I live I know of at least five houses where old people live alone. Mostly widows. These people have children I know, living not far away (say fifty or so miles) yet they are never visited by anyone of their families. An old lady I knew died alone in hospital recently - she was visited by her son at the reading of the Will. Her house was soon sold thank you very much!

What did God say in the Commandments about honoring one's parents?

God bless you Deacon for speaking so forcibly about this subject.