As many of us are sailing through the twilight of our years, we find ourselves inundated with supposedly sagacious advices on how to spend those waning years. All of these will usually boil down to one catch-all advice that we should all spend our resources for our own enjoyment, and not to mind the other cares of the world. And that this helps guarantee a long and happy life. We earned it and so we deserve to spend it.
And this conclusion is reached as culled from many subjects asked about this issue
Before anything, please give a listen to these venerable quotes:
“Whatsoever I can desire or imagine for my comfort, I look not for in this life, but hereafter.”
“Thou canst not be fully satisfied with any temporal good, because thou wast not created for the enjoyment of such things.”
If these quotes taken from the book, Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a’ Kempis, inform the practice of our faith, specifically with regard to the real and noble meanings of our lives, then we may have issues with some of the advices articulated.
Money and the pleasure it brings definitely are temporal goods, which are only ennobled if viewed and used in rightful ways defined by our faith. We accept that whatever fleeting pleasures will ensue from their uses will not really translate to real comfort in our lives. But if handled properly and for altruistic purposes these will redound to the lasting benefits of the giver.
Spending money on oneself by and large redounds to the benefit of the user only, and thus being self-centered does not promote grace and charity. In many instances, such self-serving acts bring instead deleterious consequences. Indulging in too much rich food because one can afford it is definitely one such example, because it could spell badly for our health.
Money set aside or used to provide better opportunities to the next generations, especially if privation had characterized previous generations, definitely is a more commendable resolve. Fulfilling the admonition that we should leave this earth in a better place than when we entered it. Even if only for the next generation that we had helped bring into this world, and thus, over which we have moral responsibility.
With this noteworthy example, it is hoped that that generation will do the same thing, multiplying the available opportunities for upcoming generations to live better and more prosperous lives. Rather than starting back to square one minus the critical resources necessary to lead better lives.
For that definitely is the nobler purpose of life, and the equally praiseworthy end of our use of temporal goods. Not to satisfy ourselves, but the people who we are responsible for having brought them into this world.
Will this altruism guarantee to produce the intended results? Not necessarily. But we know that a selfless act is done, not because of the intended result but because it is the nobler thing to do. Additionally, given how much more difficulties families in the world today are going through, these traditional sources of assistance and support will go a long way to a better world.
Again we are reminded by a’ Kempis who postulated metaphorically that when we travel abroad, we return finding ourselves less than the man we were. To emphasize, that when we occupy ourselves with the world and its allures, we return to our solitude, finding ourselves less the kind of person that we had wanted to be. The many temptations of the world assailing and getting the better of our resolute promises to become better persons.
Graphic Credit: http://www.mindyfried.com/category/early-education-and-care/