Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust* consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust* consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
Last week a painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt owned by a Montreal family was sold at auction. The pre-auction estimate was twenty five million and the actually selling price was forty million. This was a bit of bargain, Klimt-wise. Other paintings by the artist have sold for eighty seven and one hundred and twenty five million. I'm an art history grad and a big Klimt fan, but these prices border on obscene to me. I have to wonder whether the final bids have more to do with ego than value.
That said, how do we place a value on good and services? One of the stars of the World Series winning St. Louis Cardinals, Albert Pujos, is now a free agent and the rumour is that he is seeking thirty million a year for a decade. Remember the blog where I pointed out that Pujos is a Christian and wondered how he could expect such an enormous contract or see this as consistent with his Christian faith. Some of you thought this was fine in the open market. Wouldn't it be interesting if Christian Albert offered to take a paltry million a season and to direct the rest to charitable causes. He could probably get by.
I have been known to say that we have our values upside down in our culture. The people who look after children and the elderly are paid peanuts. Meanwhile, the stars who play games to distract us are immensely wealthy, we pay a fortune for baubles, and those who probably wouldn't know one end of a hammer from the other but shuffle money around in computers live the proverbial "life of Reilly" (who was Reilly?)
What say you, wise readers? Is this just the way the world works, or do we expect change a la the Occupy Movement gang? Or the way Jesus taught his followers?