Chapter 14: Wholeness: A Single Word Contains It
A Jewish man put five hundred dollars cash on the counter for a one-way ticket to Israel. “Such a deal!” he kept saying to himself.
Later on he was escorted to a boat where fifteen other retired Jewish garment-workers were sitting. The harrowing journey began when two athletic looking Anglo-Saxons jumped aboard the rowboat. The first wasp acted as captain and screamed, “Row!” and the other stood over the poor Jewish fellows with a whip.
Three months passed, and lo and behold! the rowboat reached Israel. On the way into the mooring, one old Jewish garment-worker said to the captain, “Excuse me, sir, I have never traveled this way before - how much should I tip the guy with the whip?”
Old habits die hard!
If you want to serve the poor, I feel sorry for you - but okay!
A minister had a habit of preaching on whatever words he happened to point his finger to when he opened the Bible. This particular Sunday morning, he opened the Bible and the finger pointed to the words:
“And Judas went out and hanged himself.”
He was not in such a pessimistic mood, so he violated his procedure and thumbed through an additional few pages of the Bible and dropped his finger and it read: “Go ye and do likewise.”
I have no objection: Go ye and do likewise! But if you want my blessings then you will have to understand my conditions. I cannot give blessings without conditions, because enough nonsense has been done in the name of service. If you really want to do service to the poor, to the downtrodden, then the first thing is: spread the message that life is not illusory, that it needs your attention, that wealth is not sin, that wealth has to be created.
And the person who creates wealth should be respected as much as a painter, musician, poet. The painter creates the painting, the poet creates the poetry - and I don’t think that poetry, painting and music can feed people. The man who creates wealth - a Morgan, a Rockefeller, a Carnegie - should be respected more than any Picasso, but they are condemned. These people - Rockerfellers, Morgans, Carnegies - are condemned for the simple reason that they have been creating wealth. And you want to serve the poor people. How are you going to serve them without wealth?