If our circumstances happened to be good, we no longer dreaded a change for the worse, for we had learned that these troubles could be turned into great values. It did not matter too much what our material condition was, but it did matter what our spiritual condition was. Money gradually became our servant and not our master. It became a means of exchanging love and service with those about us. When, with God’s help, we calmly accepted our lot, then we found we could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still suffered the same fears that they could get over them, too. We found that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want.
My fear of not having everything I need, or think I need, is lessened very much from how it was years ago.
I just watched a documentary about Ayn Rand, and in it she explains why she thinks it’s wrong to care for other people. She called it giving up your life for others, and this to her was like suicide. If I understand her correctly, which I most certainly may not.
It just made me think about the way I exchange love and service with others in return for money. It’s actually the government that pays me. I take care of adults who have profound disabilities, and the agency that employs and pays me to do it gets its money from the government. So really the tax payers pay me to do this. In the past I would have been working at an asylum or institution or state school. Now these folks are cared for in the community.
Anyway I get a very selfish pleasure from doing it. I get rewarded far beyond what any amount of money could give me. It makes me wonder if I’m missing something, or if Ayn Rand was missing something. It’s a service I provide in exchange for money to live, and for me it’s more pleasurable than digging a ditch or painting a bridge.
But calmly accepting my lot has never been a challenge for me, because I’ve always had much more than enough and I’ve never really “wanted” anything in the spirit of the text. In this way I can probably be most helpful to other spoiled suburbanites who irrationally fear that someday, we may not have enough.