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Wednesday, September 20, 2017


"The last will be first and the first will be last."
~ Jesus

Now that a "businessman" occupies the  U.S. presidency we seem to hear the term "return on investment" (ROI) more often in relation to governmental policy both domestic and international. The first question to be asked about just about anything is "What do I (we) get out of it?" - America First! Consideration of how decisions affect others and the overall common good of global society and humanity is usually subsequent, if even considered at all.

ROI is probably a good thing when investing money in the stock market. But even then investments go far beyond their dividends for investors. The companies and ventures invested in affect people and environment in myriad ways. Too many investment portfolios grow at the expense of human dignity, peace between nations, and care for our planet.
Religion also has its ROI.  How many religions have "heavenly reward" and "personal salvation" as ultimate goals? Even when something bad happens in our lives we quip, "What did I (we, they) do to deserve that?" as if a watchful god is running a cosmic ticker tape on everything we do, say, or think.

However, within most religions, and usually at their foundational core, are prophets and teachers who tell us that self worth is always found in mutual relationship with others and creation. By investing in other people, regardless of what they can do for us, we experience true ROI. Caring for our planet by using and developing resources wisely is true investment, yielding future returns for which we are not beneficiary.

Wanting to be first while insisting on immediate and personal ROI is contrary to true spiritual wisdom of the ages. Real ROI is long term, selfless, and beneficial to the common good of all.

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