Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Way of Life

Interesting....or sad.... or just of sign of the way of life today. Peyton Manning, the former Colts football player who sat out a year with a seriously injured neck, who was let go by those same Colts signed a contract with the Denver Broncos today. It's reported to be 96 million dollars over 5 years. That's a lot of money by the way. In Kodiak, our school budget is short about 3.5 million. That means we either shut down one elementary school or let go 40 or so untenured teachers. That's a lot of teachers. Don't have to be a rocket scientist, as they say, to see what our way of life values most.

In basketball, the NCAA tournament heads into its second weekend. It is down to 16 teams or 15 teams and Kentucky. Kentucky is loaded. The team is projected to have the number 1 and 2 top picks in the next NBA draft. Two other players, both sophomores, are predicted to go in the second round. We need to be reminded again and again that this is a college basketball tournament because many of the players on the top teams do not spend much time in college. Why would they? Let's see million dollar contracts or an education. It's our way of life.

In baseball, the best player in the National League who played this past season on the world champion St.Louis Cardinals took his game to the highest bidder and moved to the west coast to play in the American League. Albert Pujols ten year contract with the Angels is reported to be 240 million dollars plus incentives over 10 years. That's 40 million more than the Cardinals for whom Pujols played the past 10 years, the only other team he has played for. Guess 40 million makes it worth the hassle of moving your household. Not to mention nicer winter weather.

Now I like Pujols and I've seen him do some good things with his wealth from baseball. It is not his fault that he plays a sport he is very good at that pays him a lot of money to perform. I like to watch the NCAA tournament, too. It is great basketball. I like Peyton Manning, too. From everything I've seen he is a class act all the way. But, do I have to even say that there is something wrong with a way of life that values the contributions of a Manning, or a Pujols or a Clooney or a Madonna way more than a teacher or a nurse or a someone who is hired to take care of your children or parent in a nursing home.

Jesus, who knew something about the inequities of life, said this: "the person who loves his life will lose it but the person hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." We can debate the specifics of what he meant there. But, its pretty clear he was talking about two ways of life. One leads to life and one to death. A way of life that values money above all else, that says you gotta follow the money, that makes money the measure of all things - well seems like Jesus was saying there is different way, a better way of life.