Not just economically. Politically, morally, socially, you pay a price for everything you get, everything you think you take is ready to take its price from you.
Want to take away everyone’s rights, have everyone be treated as a suspect? Your pool of suspects is now so large the bad guys get away, and now the innocent start acting like suspects. That’s the real reason why the Administration’s domestic wiretapping and abuse of civil rights is bad, not because it’s wrong but because it’s counter-productive. Good police work among citizens who respect the police works better. Cheney reportedly holds out Russia as a model for what he’s trying to do — that’s the most corrupt place in the world.
As in politics, so it is morally. Get drunk, suffer the hangover. Take the coke, do the crash. Even marijuana, a relatively harmless drug, may take away your dreams and memories. It feels good when you’re high, but you always pay the price later. And every pharmaceutical in the world has a label on it listing the side effects, or a group of advocates warning of its dangers.
Genius has a price. You may go mad. ADHD is a pretty small price to pay for genius — your mind expands but you’re socially isolated, immature, even blind to other people. You’re labeled as disabled by society, and you either take the label or find yourself punished for the consequences of things you didn’t even know were wrong.
You can deny the price, as George W. Bush has always done, starting
with his own dyslexia, extending to his atrocious behavior coming up
(which he admits), the failed businesses family friends and retainers
had to bail him out of. He probably thought he’d skated when he became
President. He didn’t. He has made himself the most hated man in the
world, more hated than even Osama bin Laden. In his little White House
bubble he has no idea of the price — but the price will be paid. It
always is. Life’s bill collector has infinite patience.
Refusing to do business is not an answer. You become mediocre, life
goes by in shades of gray. Hiding from the world is not an answer. You
wind up alone. You have to buy what you can from life, and you have to
pay for it, all of it.
And religion is not an excuse for not paying. It’s just an explanation.
No matter what your faith, you will pay for your genius, your ambition,
your effort, your successes. The self-made man is a stranger to his
family. Stand on a demand for morality and you may still have feet of
clay, desires you hide from everyone, heart songs that degrade you and
all you touch.
The Dalai Lama was here in Atlanta over the weekend. His answer to
most questions is acceptance and peace. He has become world famous,
this great man. But he too paid a price. He lost his home, Tibet. Had
China not invaded Tibet and exiled him in 1959, this Dalai Lama might
be like all his predecessors, locked away in mountain fastness. The
Dalai Lama is a price China paid for Tibet, and fame is a price he paid
Is the deal ever fair? What is this fair you talk about? Fair to whom?
You’re born, you live, you die. Do your best with it. Seek the most
value from your choices, and be ready to pay for them.
That’s all the wisdom there is.