Monday, April 4, 2011

All the Wealth and Power in the World

I’ve had the opportunity to be in several of the homes of immensely wealthy and influential people on the north shore of Boston. I wasn’t exactly a guest, although I was invited in. I was with a cleaning company hired to clean their toilets and dust their treasures. The ocean views were breathtaking, the Monet, whose frame I dusted, was not a reproduction, and I was impressed to see a framed newspaper clipping of a prep school soccer team where the owner was standing beside a young John Kennedy. In a subservient role I even had the opportunity to meet a few of the “masters of the house.” I wasn’t very impressed.

They, of course, looked down on us – we were only servants. They had it all. But they didn’t, really. I could see that their pretention was really just surface. Beneath they were just the same as us. They had the same insecurities and fears (maybe more – I must admit, I tended to look at them with disdain because they were serving the dollar and I, being a seminary student, was serving God – a bit more lofty than filthy lucre). And cleaning someone’s bathroom makes it more obvious than anything else in life that we are all alike in the basics (although their towels were nicer than mine).

I never felt inferior to those people. I never envied anything they had other than their ocean view. I knew that what I was doing, even though I’d never earn as much nor would I ever have as much power, was what I was meant to do.

So look around you. See those people who seem to have it all together? They are the same as you. The human spirit in us all is made up of the same stuff. Hold your head high. You are important. You are unique. You are … you!

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