I find an interesting dichotomy in examining the priorities of Americans versus the citizens of other countries.
Within the same week, millions of us shopped on Thanksgiving night or at ungodly hours of "Black Friday" morning, many bursting through the doors of retail establishments to purchase bargain-priced electronics, toys, and clothing, and we lined up to purchase Powerball tickets with the slim hope of coming away with more than one half billion dollars. Simultaneously, an enormous number of Egyptians courageously rallied for freedom in Tarir Square, aligning themselves against the tyranny which they foresee under the reign of Mohamed Morsi, who has been dubbed “The New Pharoah” as he seeks to seize unprecedented power and neuter the Egyptian judiciary.
It is interesting … and troubling … that there is slavish devotion to the Powerball drawing not when the jackpot is $20 million … $40 million … or $75 million, but when it is hundreds of millions, the point at which lottery sellers are mobbed and hordes of members of the media cover the story from coast to coast. I find the story not to be one of individuals with laudable dreams, but of individuals consumed by greed. What, pray tell, can an individual accomplish with $550 million that cannot be done with $20 million or even less? I wonder how many of those who stand in line to purchase their Powerball tickets have criticized the greed of corporate executives. Do they not see the greed in themselves?
Undeterred by the shattered lives of previous big jackpot winners, the American people march on unwavering in their pursuit of vast riches. I believe it serves to demonstrate the ugly underbelly of our culture, which is focused on material possessions. Is it any wonder that residents of many other nations consider us to be wrong-headed fools?