Monday, February 2, 2009

Paying the problems to go away...

I grew up in a majority Roman Catholic suburb. I didn't realize this until I got older - how many of my friends were active Catholics. It just never came up in conversation.

I remember around the age of 14 it was someone's idea (a youth leader? the mormon bishop??) to go door to door handing out books of mormon (who knows what the plural is) in one of the wealthier adjoining suburbs. The members of our ward were from around eight different suburbs in the surrounding area - the location selected was close to my parents home and actually close to my high school. Again, I think this was just a coincidence.

Caroling was actually a common activity - we would carol at nursing homes fairly regularly. So caroling and handing out books of mormon was not that unusual. At least, it didn't seem unusual to me at the time.

People who would answer the door had different reactions - as you might expect.

Yet the reaction that stands out in my mind was a gentleman who kept exclaiming "Great! Great!" and then "How much do you want"? He then got out his checkbook - trying to write us a check for whatever organization we were with. He also seemed sort of hyper - jumping around for some reason.

We had to explain, no, we're just here caroling and want to give you this "other testament of Christ". Later we all chuckled to ourselves - silly man! Thinking we only wanted money! No doubt there are random bands of Catholic high school students who roam suburbs asking for donations.

I just remember the distinct impression that he was trying to pay us to go away.

Also thinking - maybe my religion IS a little odd - and not odd in a good way.

To bring this back to the present, I do want to give our current president a chance, and our current congress a chance. I do believe we can find a solution that will work for our country - and do some good for the environment in the process.

There's just a small voice in the back of my head that remembers the wealthy man trying to pay problems to go away. Life is just not that simple sometimes.


Anonymous said...

I have the same foreboding, and I think our culture is particularly bad about always looking for the quick fix. At the same time, I talked with a good friend this past weekend who is working on his PhD in Economics, and his feeling was that the stimulus bill doesn't go far enough, that we actually need to spend more like $1 trillion, and that because governments have longer lives than individuals, families, and companies, that much leverage is actually acceptable when things are as bad as they are now. He made some valid points, but my concern is more about the psychological; if we don't accompany the big check with some sane and responsible leadership, no amount of cash in the world is going to get the job done. I'm sincerely hoping the new leadership knows that.

Aerin said...

Thanks Kathryn - I completely agree about the psychological factor in this equation. I also agree about the sane and responsible leadership. I hope that's what we have as well. Particularly with the infrastructure spending - some of what's being done has needed to be done for quite some time now.