Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," dispensing the wisdom of the ages since 2005! Well, okay, not really. No one here is wealthy or wise ... or old. We still have fun, though.
Speaking of healthy, the poor dude in this famous painting had failed his health test completely. But it didn't stop artist Thomas Eakins from creating the masterpiece, "The Gross Clinic."
Eakins lived in Philadelphia. The painting depicts a group of students in Philadelphia. The painting was on display at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia until someone tried to buy it from the cash-strapped TJ.
That someone was Alice Walton of Bentonville, Arkansas. Ms. Walton wanted "The Gross Clinic" for a new museum she was building on her vast fortune gained from Wal-Mart.
Let me plainly state my case here. Wal-Mart mistreats its employees. It encourages the production of shoddy merchandise by poorly-paid workers in far-off lands. Its low prices are offset by the way the merchandise wears out quickly or doesn't work as well as it should. A poor person can't afford to shop at Wal-Mart. He would be better served to pay more and get a pair of shoes that will last three times longer.
At the top of the Wal-Mart pyramid sits the Walton family, esconced in luxury, trolling for iconic art treasures for a museum in their backwater lair.
I keep going back to this story of "The Gross Clinic," because I love it. When the citizens of Philadelphia learned that Alice Walton wanted the painting, and had offered a giant wad of cash for it, the citizens fought back. Together we pooled our resources and paid TJ more than Alice would have. Now the painting is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (which I affectionately call "The Rocky Museum.").
Alice Walton is not a representative of Arkansas any more than Bill and Hillary Clinton are. But she is a poster child for greed. Is there a religion out there that encourages greed? Not on paper, by golly!
Look closely at your praise and worship team. Does it foster a climate of over-acquisition? If so, resign and relocate. Greed is not good. I don't have to live in a tent to tell you that.