Editor,

Suppose you were raised in a household where money and power were considered more important than love and compassion. And imagine that the household had enough money and power to get you started on a path to gain both. Suppose your only praise and acknowledgment came when you gained material wealth and putative power. And, finally, suppose you became very adept at achieving both.

If your life experiences pushed you in that direction, you might become a person who believed that love and kindness were signs of weakness. You might come to believe that the measure of the people around you is not something inherent within each of them, but in their ability to improve your own status. You might develop an “us vs. them” world view wherein people who do not contribute to your aggrandizement are demeaned as less than and unworthy.

What if you figured out how to attract people whose very religious foundation is based on love and convince them that, somehow, raising you high is in keeping with their core beliefs? If you became very, very skilled at manipulating life and people to believe in your status, your wealth, your power, you could conceivably become the most powerful man in the world.

But all that power and all that wealth could be laid low if you were faced with a crisis that cannot be solved by money and power alone. What if you were faced with a crisis that can only be approached with a level of love and compassion that is simply not in your skill set? What if the crisis could only be properly addressed by people humble enough to know their own limitations and wise enough to recognize that this requires a united, all-in-this-together awareness? Lacking that humility, wisdom and awareness, you might be inclined, at first, to minimize the crisis, inspiring millions to ignore the advice of experts. And once the reality caught up with you, you might then waste valuable time laying blame and telling us what a great job you are doing. What if people began to criticize you and recognize that you are not are not the savior you told us you were?

That would be a sad and lonely place for you, and catastrophic for the rest us.

Tobey Miller, Fort Payne

Send letters to the Times-Journal by writing P.O. Box 680349, Fort Payne, AL 35968. Fax 256-845-7459. Email emily.kirby @times-journal.com.

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