(We lifted this post from Pastor Ben's DowntownCredo.com blog, cuz we're tight like that.)
So in college I read this sociology book. It was somewhat long and complex but one thing it said was that they tried capitalism in Europe, before America was discovered, and it didn’t really catch on. Something like, people weren’t incentivized by more money. I mean they couldn’t get them to work longer by paying them based on what they produced. The guys on the farms would work just long enough to get what they needed than go home early.
Did you hear that? They weren’t interested in making more money, “Just enough to pay my bills, then I’ll go home and enjoy what I have. Thanks.” What!?
I remembered that when I saw an author on the news this morning talking about his new book: Happy. Pretty ridiculous title if you ask me. But the guy had a phd. so I listened. He had decided that true happiness took three things: pleasure, meaningfulness and…(I must have stopped listening after meaningfulness because I can’t remember the third thing). He said happiness is deep. Pleasure by itself is easy to get, but also easy to lose. It needs to be attached to something larger and more meaningful. Maybe it’s not hard to guess, I like that idea.
It left me wondering about when we became incentivized by money. That sociology book from college had an answer, but I’m guessing the answer is less important than what we do now. We’ve got to discover how to connect pleasure to meaningfulness in life. I know people who have: a friend who sells insurance doesn’t do it to pursue the momentary pleasure of making more money, instead he knows he’s helping people prepare for the future and protect what they have. His job becomes fulfilling.
It’s got me thinking this morning about what in my life is a grasping for momentary pleasure, and what is building for lasting happiness.