Some things are not for sale at any price: the skill of a gardener; the beauty of a perfect rose; the song of the meadow lark. Greed is superfluous in acquiring the talent of a Mozart, a Shakespeare or a Monet. Einstein did not purchase his cerebral cortex, nor did Robert Kennedy or Michael Debakey. Dr. Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were not for sale at any price – that is the nature of a truly impassioned commitment. One wonders if in our abject worship of money we haven’t set up a paradigm where monetary value is the enemy of meaning.
It is a fact that we respect those with money or who can raise money over those with a message and a solid public policy stance in politics. We insist that the boys on Wall Street are the smartest kids in the room, no matter how many times they sacrifice the common good for their own short term gain, when in point of fact the real brain trust is in research labs across this country where men and women work tirelessly to employ the human genome in the battle against cancer, heart disease and more.
I am old now, and have the time to be introspective and philosophical. I also enjoy the greatest advantage of age, save wisdom, in that I care not what others think of me, my ideas or my opinions. Beyond all of that, the greatest benefit of having lived many more years then I have left to live is unquestionably a sharpening of my wits, a fine tuning of my instincts and an exquisite sensitivity of my bullshit meter.