Editor's note: Jeffrey Reeves' introduction to "The Way to Wealth" provides an overview of this weekly blog series.
“Drive thy business, let not that drive thee.”
Benjamin Franklin in the persona of Father Abraham
How many times has someone reminded you that you need balance in your life? How many times have you heard that the idea of a balanced life is a product of eastern philosophy?
How soon we forget:
There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes, Ch3, v 1-7
Benjamin Franklin and his contemporaries knew the Bible well and called upon it every day for its guidance. The Buddha was wandering India at the same time Lao Tzu was teaching the Tao, Confucius was laying down the law, and Plato was creating a method of inquiry. That was 1,000 years after Moses wandered in the desert with the Jews and 2,500 years before any significant eastern thought entered the Americas.
One of the saddest failures of the late 20th century is the failure to protect and preserve Judeo-Christian values in our public institutions, our businesses and our personal financial practices and models.
It is a shame that Americans have discarded these essential values in favor of knock offs popularized by charlatans and snake oil sales reps. There is, of course, value in every honest religious set of beliefs. Inquiry into the ways of thinking and seeing of others serves to deepen one’s belief and to expand one’s worldview. It need not destroy tested and proven values.
Hold tight in your personal life to the principles, practices and values that built America and – God willing – you will help revitalize them in her governments.