Sunday, October 18, 2009

Being Inspired by Others

"To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature."

-–Adam Smith, (June 16, 1723 – July 17, 1790) Scottish philosopher, author and economist, known as the "father of capitalism." (left)

Capitalism is not without ethics and morality--humanity too.

"Where ambition can cover its enterprises, even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexible of passions."

--David Hume, (May 7, 1711 – August 25, 1776) Scottish philosopher, economist, historian and author whose writings often reflect anti-religious thought. (right)

Ambition must not go unchecked. Be supple, easily entreated.

(So, what about those Scots? Enlightened fellows, eh?)


Corrie Howe said...

Interesting quotes. I love how you found pictures too.

Judith Ellis said...

These quotes touched me as greed seems to be so rampant on Wall Street, even after a near finacial global collapse (many have become "moral hazards"), and as ambition is the reigning force there. The period in which Smith and Hume wrote is not called the Enlightenment for nothing. :-) I'd like to read others' take on the quotes.

Marion said...

Excellent quotes, Judith. I keep hearing on the news about the Wall Street gang going back to huge bonuses and it pisses me off. It's like they learned nothing from the financial meltdown.

It's just not right, especially when Social Security recipients aren't getting cost of living raises and there are cutbacks being made in Medicaid. My 80 year old mother is on Medicare and Medicaid and is having trouble finding a doctor who will take her Medicaid. And she lives in Shreveport, a big city. (She has osteoporosis and a crumbling spine). I can't imagine what it must be like for seniors in small towns. I know I'm off the subject a little, but to me, it's all related. Why should a handful of people get millions of dollars in bonuses when the 'least of them' are doing without even basic health care.

I think of the Bible verse, 1 Timothy 6:10: "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

Blessings, Judith!

Judith Ellis said...

Marion – I hope and pray that your dear mother will get the help deserved and that seniors all over this great country will not be lacking in no good thing. Help with health concerns is a good thing indeed. I'm not sure altogether why some doctors do not want to take Medicaid. I think it has something to do with reimbursements, while many love it as they milk the system with all kinds of added needless tests and double and triple billings. We definitely need health care reform to address many issues, the greatest of these is health care itself.

Regarding bonuses, I am not opposed to them for private companies. My problem is that when companies who have been bailed out by taxpayers give such outrageous bonuses for essentially failing BIG! Without the taxpayer dollar these large Wall Street banks and insurance companies like AIG would not be in existence today. And do you know how they reward us?

They reward us by raising our interest rates on our credit cards, refusing to negotiate on our home loans, buy up other banks and become even bigger to fail—guaranteeing that they will need taxpayer money for another bailout this time in multiple TRILLIONS—and hire lobbyists to get Congress to vote against our interest. Smith did not see capitalism this way and I can see why Hume wrote against so vehemently against religion. Where has the clergy been? In bed with big business, so it seems. In fact, churches have become big business. Many should be taxed! That'll help pay for health care. They won't!

Arianna Huffington just launched a new section,Impact, which encourages and enables people to give to those in need. The HuffPost community just raised $30,000 for a mother who went blind for her children's sake. Impact is a great idea. As I have said many times, policy is good but we also need public participation. It's necessary and rewarding.

The scripture you gave is a pertinent one. Of course, it is not money itself that is the root of all evil but the LOVE of it to the exclusion of all else. Money then becomes our "obsession" as Hume wrote of and the causes us not to “restrain our selfishness” as Smith advocated. There is also a scripture which says that we should wear this world as a "loose garment." The point to all of these scriptures to me is not to be self-centered and to love others as we love ourselves.

Many blessings to you and yours, dear friend. You may always express yourself freely here at any time. I'm happy that you share your thoughts with us. They're appreciated.

Marion said...

I appreciate you Judith! I know, many people misquote that Bible verse and say that money is the root of all evil, and they leave out the words "love of". Big difference there!

I'll check out Ms. Huffington's new section. She's an inspiring woman and more people and groups need to follow her example. Blessings!

Brosreview said...

Thanks for sharing such wonderful quotes Judith!

Judith Ellis said...

Marion - I too appreciate you and I'm with you with regards to Arianna. Peace and love...

Judith Ellis said...

Pleasure, Ajey!

The Write Girl said...

Hi Judith,

Truer words couldn't be spoken...our politicians need to examine their stance on things. In today's society, capitilism is linked with greed. We need to find a balance and try to help others.

Judith Ellis said...

Hi The Write Girl - I agree. Of course, Congress' "stance" should be based on the people's choice. But the people have to be active participants in their own government.

wmmbb said...

By reputation Scotland is somewhat of a gloomy place, so I suppose that is why that light had to shine so brightly, and influence among others, the American Republic. One purpose of history might be keep the lights shining on?

Judith Ellis said...

Ah, beautiful comment, wmmbb. Thank you for that, friend. Gotta pop over to your blog. I have been there rather infrequently these days. Heading over now.