31 December, 2009

A Time for Truth

Most of our social, economic, and political problems are rooted in the desire to get something for nothing, multiplied in intensity by the twin emotions of envy and resentment. Just as the lowest common denominators of human nature are greed and laziness, the fastest and easiest way to justify an attempt to get something for nothing is to proclaim that those who have what you want do not deserve it, and you do.
The Two Worldviews
There are two general ways of looking at the world. A person can have a benevolent worldview or a malicious worldview. A person with a benevolent worldview looks at life and the world honestly and realistically, recognizing that there are many problems and deficiencies, but for the most part, it is a good place and definitely preferable to the alternatives. People who have a benevolent worldview create everything good and worthwhile in society.
Stinkin' Thinkin'
People with a malicious worldview, on the other hand, are primarily negative and cynical in their outlooks. They look for the worst in people and situations. They are characterized by low self-esteem and self-worth. They don't like themselves, and as a result, they don't like many others. They see problems everywhere. They see injustice, oppression, unfairness, and inequalities of income and status. No solution is ever enough. No situation is every satisfactory. For these people, there is always something wrong.
Your Self-Esteem and Self-Image
The central role of self-esteem and self-image—how much you like yourself and how you see yourself—cannot be overemphasized. They constitute the person you are inside. These core elements of your personality have overwhelming affects on your worldview. Each person has a deep inner need to feel important and valuable, and be respected by others. Each person needs to believe in something bigger than himself.
Political Opportunism
At the political level, there will always be opportunistic people who will offer to represent those who do not want to work for what they get. These opportunistic politicians will create elaborate arguments to prove why these prospective voters should be given free money. As soon as the ghost of free money, of something for nothing or very little, raises its ugly head, more and more people will attempt to get it.
The Test for Truth
The two great questions you have to ponder when considering any personal and government action are these: First, “Is it true for me?” Is what you are saying or hearing true for you, or do you think it may be true for others, but not for yourself? Listen to your inner voice. Be perfectly honest with yourself. Trust your own instincts. Only accept the premise or promise that feels right and is consistent with your own personal knowledge and experience.
Many of our most complex problems could be quickly relieved if each person were to ask themselves this question, “Is this true for me?”