Life is a drama. Everyone has a part to play. We have a choice as to whether we will play the part of a good character or a bad one. Just as when children play and choose to be one of the good guys or bad guys, so people choose the part they play in life. Yet life is more than a game. How our life turns out depends on which part we choose to play. Contrary to the saying that good guys finish last, good guys finish first. Life is the process of learning which part to play. It is a process of learning the difference between right and wrong, the difference between truth and falsehood.
In the act of borrowing, the borrower enters into a position of obligation to the lender. The borrower must service and repay the loan.
At one time, borrowing and lending were frowned upon, no doubt in part for this reason. What had to happen in people’s thinking to make lending and borrowing a more respectable practice than before? To a significant extent, the traditional disgrace attached to being in debt had to be lessened.
We have to speed up since we are a part of the economy. We need to work faster to meet the rising demand for goods and services. We also need to work faster in order to pay back the money we borrowed to increase our spending in the first place. We have to keep up with machines, and we have to keep up the payments to the banks or else lose our homes, cars or whatever we bought with borrowed money.
Now we rush almost everything. The modern economy is characterized by the frenzy of a race, the rat race. This frenzy is apparent especially in the companies which buy and sell securities or investment instruments.
Bosses rush their workers, commuters rush to work and back again. Managers pressure their sales teams to increase sales. We rush when we eat, and not just when we eat fast food. We even rush the fruits and vegetables we grow, not giving them enough time to grow to their full size and become ripe. We harvest them prematurely, expecting that by the time they arrive in the supermarket they will at least look ripe. But will such vegetables and fruits taste good? And will they be nutritious?
Money can buy things that are for sale. Money can buy insurance against accidents but cannot prevent an accident or misfortune; it merely pays a sum of money to the victim or his or her relatives.
Money can pay for the basic needs of the body: food, shelter, clothing, and transportation. Money can be also used to obtain education, and to exercise charity.
The face tells a great deal about the person. Even a poker face tells that the person wearing it does not want us to know anything about him or her. Many attempts are made to “see through” people. There is even an ancient Chinese art of face reading.
A popular way in which persons try to make themselves impenetrable is by putting on makeup. Why would a person put an expensive coating on his or her face? People paint their faces because they want to appear better. But it is not certain that makeup delivers the desired effects.
The widespread and extensive use of makeup reflects the insecurity that people feel about themselves. How or why do people lose the confidence to appear in public without the help of makeup?
In the past people in acting used makeup. Stars in the entertainment industry depend a great deal on their face and appearance to stay in business. Now even politicians and artists wear make up. Have we taken to acting? What exactly is the part we are trying to play?
The people who rely on the use of make up to look attractive overlook the fact that it is possible to be attractive even without the use of make up.
First, it must be recognized that there is a difference between being attractive and beautiful. A person lacking in beauty may still be attractive. Also, a person with what we would think of as beautiful features can still be unattractive.
Everyone has seen or experienced what has been described as ‘cold beauty.’ Not everyone is or can be beautiful; everyone can, however, be attractive. What makes people attractive is graciousness or high morale.
Putting on makeup is in effect putting on another face, on top of the original. One could think of this practice as a kind of cover up.
When people in any community begin to act as if they believe that the best way to get ahead in life is not through diligence and hard work, but through cheating and ‘beating the system,’ that community is in serious jeopardy. People will do just that – they will try to cheat their way to success. Those who remain honest may begin to believe that, indeed, ‘nice guys finish last.’
Why would anyone want to live in an urban center with all the noise pollution, air pollution, the high cost, high density, and high stress living? The need to hold on to one’s job or the prospect of getting one constitutes a compelling reason for putting up with life in the city.
Apartment and condominium living are signs of the fragmentation of communities. People who live in apartments or condominiums often barely know their neighbours.
Some industrial countries have become advanced to the point where things are treated as people and people as things. In the eyes of the law, the modern corporation has attained the status of a person. The people working in the corporation, on the other hand, have been reduced to the status of a factor of production. This shows how we have collectively turned things upside down.
It is striking how differently we treat formalities in matters of personal relationships as compared to financial transactions. People are willing to cohabit with another person without the formality of a marriage certificate. Yet we do not see too many commercial transactions taking place without the formalities of written documentation.
Why do we treat marital contracts less seriously than financial agreements? If a person breaks a financial promise by failing to pay back a promissory note, he is guilty of a ‘breach of contract,’ and has committed an offence. Yet if a person commits adultery, and thus breaks the promise ‘til death do us part,’ he or she commits no legal offence.