Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Tuesday, December 30, 2003  

Life of Luxury

was the name of a TV show on last night which reprised Robin Leach's Lifetstyles of the Rich and Famous.

The use of wealth is a fascinating subject, and the opportunity to peek inside the lives of the very rich is irresistible; yet, how disillusioning!

The rich, regardless of their acumen, drive, and success in their chosen enterprises invariably reveal themselves in private as crass, vulgar, tasteless, and small minded.

The Bible refrain kept coming to mind as I watched one tycoon after another with their gold fixtured bathrooms glimmering - "the wages of sin are death."

I also marveled later on that "the last shall be first, and the first shall be last."

Now, it's presumptuous of me to judge anyone according to their homes, their cars, their yachts, their bling bling (jewelry), and vacation idylls; and people who have made a deal of money aren't going to spend it on cheap junk (and it should be spent. See below on Christmas); yet, ostentation brings out disgust.

When you observe how the nouveau riche live, it's hard not to hate them. It isn't wrong to like or prefer good things, but it is sickening that people love and prefer gaudy things. The vapidness of so many of the people showcased led to my Biblical reflections.

"To whom much is given, much is expected" is a natural request by divinity upon us all; and no one would begrudge a celebrity a hiding place or two away from very public lives, and the importunities of so many upon them, but a life needs to be more than mercenary work followed by self-indulgence. The whole exposition of the "go peel me a grape" manner in which these people seem to live simply grates upon my conscience. Even though it really is none of my business.

It is a fun kind of parlor game, though, to imagine what you might do with wealth if you had it. How you might use it or not.

I would like to build a great cathedral or series of churches, commissioning great contemporary artists, and paying for the most beautiful presentations of the Mass by hiring excellent singers and musicians, lectors, and so forth; and trying to populate the world with religious works such as we have enjoyed in previous ages when excellence was king.

And I would drive a really nice car, and have a modest, but excellent home.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 3:02 PM |