The Rat Race
Carol and Larry
Many families in the U.S. today are experiencing a peculiar tension.
- Larry clearly understood the trade-off. More money, less family.
More family, less money.
- The strain of keeping their household afloat discouraged them.
There were bills to pay, kids to pick up, deadlines to meet, quotas to
beat, but not much time to enjoy anything.
- Words from a Simon and Garfunkle song strike a familiar ring for
many people: "Like a rat in a maze, the path before me lies. And the
pattern never alters, until the rat dies."
- Do you know anyone who has ever won the rat race?
- Why do we compete in an unwinnable race?
The Standard of Living Fallacy
In general, there are two components to our standard of living.
The desire for instant gratification has taken the place of deferring to
a time when we can pay cash for our wants. Men today are worn out.
Many who have chased their dreams have lost their families.
- Our material standard of living which has soared in the
last forty years.
- Our spiritual standard of living which has plummeted in
the same time span.
The most lasting satisfaction in life is our relationships, so why are
we trading them off for careers with companies that will drop us like
hot potatoes if we miss our quota?
The Dominant Economic Theory in America
- The dominant economic theory in America for the past forty years
or so has been consumerism.
- We are programmed to consume, because the theory holds
that a progressively greater consumption of goods is beneficial.
The Influence of the Media
The media in America is controlled by secular humanists. Secular
humanism is the view that man establishes his own moral values apart
from the influence of anyone (including God), and he self-determines his
destiny -- he is the master of his own fate.
The problem with this life view is that it has no absolutes, everything
is relative -- it has no external reference point. Our relativistic
culture means that we need to guard our minds, because so many kooky
ideas are floating around.
The life portrayed on television loves pleasure, sensuality, doesn't
deny itself anything, and has a right to whatever goal it sets.
Contrast the heroes of today with those of the past. A few years ago
kids looked up to John Wayne, Superman, Batman and Robin. Today it is
Mutant Ninja Turtles, Iced Tea, and John MacEnroe.
The Beautiful, Wrinkle-Free Life
- The desire for things appears to have become more important than
having a meaningful life philosophy.
- The result of trying to achieve the beautiful, wrinkle-free life,
and failing, produces an excruciating anxiety level. Two components of
- Media generated standard of living anxiety
- Anxiety from debt pressure
- We have exchanged our traditional values for a murky sort of
prosperity, financed by a remarkable increase in productivity and by a
suffocating load of personal, corporate, and public debt.
The Rat Race Defined
- We can define the rat race as the pursuit of the beautiful,
- In pursuit of the good life, many men leave a trail of broken
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