Monday, June 12, 2017
Week one comment 1 June 12, 2017 - Don
Week one comment 1 June 12, 2017
In Lecture, I of Pragmatism, William James quoted Gilbert Keith Chesterton, “There are some people – and I am one of them – who think that the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe. We think that for a landlady considering a lodger, it is important to know his income, but still more important to know his philosophy.” I think that you can learn a lot about a person’s philosophy on what they tell you they would do if they won the Powerball as someone did this weekend; it was not I. But if I had, what would I have done with the proceeds after tax.
Would I have bought a new car? My current car has over 300,000 miles and gets me back and forth where I want to go, so I see no need to trade it in. Would I have bought a yacht to entertain all my new-found friends? Well, they weren’t standing next to me on the shore before I had a boat, so I see no reason to buy one now to get their friendship. Would I have purchased my own private jet so that I could travel all over the world and sample the cuisine and spas. I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I like to see escargot on the menu, but not on my plate. There are numerous other things I could do that I’m sure that I would find enjoyable, but how much joy is too much, how many beautiful sunsets are too many.
So here’s what I would do. I’d see that my family was provided for and then I would the rest away. I would search for communities and people in need and work with them to make their lives a little better. I kind of like the original Mr. Deeds with Gary Cooper who when asked why he was giving his money away said, “From what I can see, no matter what system of government we have, there will always be leaders and always be followers. It's like the road out in front of my house. It's on a steep hill. Every day I watch the cars climbing up. Some go lickety-split up that hill on high, some have to shift into second, and some sputter and shake and slip back to the bottom again. Same cars, same gasoline, yet some make it and some don't. And I say the fellas who can make the hill on high should stop once in a while and help those who can't. That's all I'm trying to do with this money. Help the fellas who can't make the hill on high.” I like that philosophy and if I won the lottery, I would try to lift as many people up who need a hand as I could.