This week while reading Haanel paragraphs 17:28 & 17:29 stood out for me.
17:28 “You may be pursuing the symbols of power, instead of power itself. You may be pursuing fame instead of honor, riches instead of wealth, position instead of servitude. In either event you will find that they turn to ashes just as soon as you overtake them.”
17:29 “Premature wealth or position cannot be retained, because it has not been earned. We get only what we give, and those who try to get without giving always find that the law of compensation is relentlessly bringing about an exact equilibrium.”
We are all on a journey, but how many of us know where we are going or more so where we truly want to go? After reading these paragraphs I began to wonder if I’m focusing on the “having” or the “being”. As a result of our humanity I am sure that there are times where it is only about the having. I would like to think if we move beyond the having, beyond the surface of it’s symbolism that we move closer to the “being”. When we want a thing it is because it holds meaning for us. It symbolizes something we want to express to others about ourselves.
Think of the person that just won the lottery and suddenly they wear the fancy clothes, drive the flashy car, and have all the symbols of success. Then one day you notice they no longer wear the fancy clothes or drive the flashy car if they still have a car. Seems like a case of premature wealth and an equalization by the law of compensation.
Or the person that cheats their way into a position of power without obtaining the skill and experience to fulfill the role. They soon find themselves attempting to carry a load that they have neither the emotional strength, mindset or mental fortitude to bear.
Haanel also wrote 17:11 “… There is always the cry to have but never the cry to be. …”
On my journey there with always be something shiny, something cool, something distracting. My hope is that I have learned enough to know that shiny & cool is alright, in fact they have their place. My hope is that I remember to look beyond the tip of the iceberg, beyond the surface, beyond the shiny and the cool and look within. Look within to find what is real, what is true. I pray that my cry is not just to have but ultimately to be.