Lessons from grandchildren


Adult sinners are just sophisticated children. Thus I am looking in the mirror when I watch Nassia and Niko go at it on Wednesdays. This week it was the large stuffed hippo that had to be had or coronary failure was assured. But I have seen them fight over the butt of a soggy branch on the playground.

There needs be nothing intrinsically valuable in the object of lust. And indeed, the object was not lusted after until it was owned by someone else. We all learned this once from the Cinderella movie, where Druzella and Anastasia suddenly could not live without the beads and sash they had contemptuously discarded, which Cinderella's thrifty mouse friends had retrieved from the floor.

I would think that this observation about covetousness is enough to validate the biblical teaching of total depravity---if you are in need of validation other than God's imprimatur. We deceive ourselves to think we war and quarrel and steal because we are poor. We war and quarrel and steal because we have envy. A few social notches above my grandchildren, it is called class envy. I am entitled because . . . well . . . because they have it.

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Philadelphia's economy is tanking, and the mayor is casting about desperately for spare change. Yet, our City Council members, under a program called DROP---which pays them retirement benefits plus high interest concurrent with their regular salaries in exchange for a promise that they will retire within four years of opting for the deal---are making an end run around the intent of the program by retiring for one day and then swearing in again. To those who fuss about their greed, City Council President Anna Verna responds that she is "entitled."

Which is not much more sophisticated than how Nassia and Niko talk.

To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.

Andrée Seu
Andrée Seu

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again.


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