Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Service vs. Self Enrichment

I have come to be very sick of the phrase "false dichotomy" as it is being used and abused by the current administration. However, in this case that is a very concise description of a topic that has been publicly discussed by President Barak, Michelle Obama, and and and Rush Limbaugh.

The President and The First Lady have repeated (especially the First Lady) almost incessantly that we need to lead lives of service. However, they use service euphemistically.

Rush Limbaugh rightly criticizes the First Lady and the President for their attacks on profit, but he does not see the euphemism.

People do not profit unless they provide service. Service does not necessarily mean abasing one's self and joining Mother Teresa's Convent. That is what Michelle and the President are trying to tell us to do, not provide service to others but to join a vocation (vocations are not necessarily religious) and forswear material comfort. Ask the Franciscan Priests & Nuns how lives of prayer, service, and poverty does for them.

Service in terms of creating objects of value, be those objects food, art, computer programs, mowed lawns, etc is what people give money for. Without that service rendered one does not become wealthy.

To the President and the First Lady -- there is nothing wrong with getting rich, nothing wrong with striving to become a corporate attorney. It does not become you to suggest otherwise.

To Rush -- see their euphemism, service to our friends and neighbors is vital without providing service to others one is a lazy sluggard.