Most people remember George Orwell for his two famous books, Animal Farm and 1984. Long before he wrote these, he wrote a humorous novel, “Keep the Aspidistra Flying”, about an idealistic young poet who despises money, honors only love, and vows to live a life of poverty.
To set the tone of the story, Orwell opens with an altered version from 1 Corintians, x11. which reads as follows; (italics mine)
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not money, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not money, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not money, it profiteth me nothing. Money suffers long, and is kind; money envieth not; money vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not her own, and is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things … And now abideth faith, hope, money, these three: but the greatest of these is money.
Of course, by the end of the book
, the young poet changes his mind about money because … he falls in love. And he learns that, though love may be grand, it truly sucks if you can’t even buy your beloved a beer.
A retired psychiatrist told me that his years of listening to his patients taught him that the two most important things in life were love and money. I asked him which of the two he thought was most important. He answered, without hesitation, money.
The topic of which is most important is a subject for endless debate. Even those fonts of modern wisdom, the Beatles, were ambivialent on the subject, singing both,
“All you need is Love,”
“Your lovin’ gives me a thrill,
But your lovin’ don’t pay my bills,
Give me money.”
So, if you were given the choice between being bathed in the bliss of love, or filthy rich, which would you pick?
If you have to take time to think it over, remember that even the Bible straddes the fence on this subject. For even though the unaltered version of Corithians tell us that “the greatest of these is love,” if we go to Ecclesiastes, Chapter 10:19, we are told
“A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry, but money answereth all things”
I’ll drink to that!
Sources; George Orwell “Keep the Aspidistra Flying” Victor Gollancz Pub. 1936
Dr. Ronald Hull M. D.
, King James version