The Interdependence of All Things

David Price
3 min readMay 10, 2022
Paolo Domeniconi

“For my part, the thing that I would wish to obtain from money would be leisure with security. But what the typical modern man desires to get with it is more money, with a view to ostentation, splendour, and the outshining of those who have hitherto been his equals.

The social scale in America is indefinite and continually fluctuating. Consequently all the snobbish emotions become more restless than they are where the social order is fixed, and although money in itself may not suffice to make people grand, it is difficult to be grand without money.

In America money is the accepted measure of brains. It is thought a man who makes a lot of money must be a clever fellow; a man who does not, is not. Nobody likes to be thought an idiot. Therefore, when the market is in ticklish condition, I have observed Americans behave the way young people do during an examination.”

— Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness (1930)

*

My own mother was essentially kind. She was particularly kind to me, at the time her youngest child. There was no school in our village and she was illiterate, yet she was naturally kind. I had no toys to play with, but instead rode on her shoulders as she went about her work in the fields or with our animals. We, her children, never saw an angry expression on her face. She was kind to us, kind to our neighbours. When victims of famine came to the door, she always found them something to eat. It’s because of her that I am the happy, smiling person I am today.

— The Dalaï-lama

*

“Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.”

— Thomas Merton

We civilized folk think broadly in terms of measurement and judgment of value. Whether it’s intelligence equated with the ability to amass wealth and power or impressive physical beauty, we Americans especially are conditioned to carry a mental yardstick that gives or takes away our worth in the world. It’s an imaginary paradigm that gives more importance to the appearance of success than to compassion or kindness. It’s an idea that breeds superficial people.

Of course a lot of people fall out of this system along the way because it’s…

--

--

David Price

I write about creativity, loving, language learning and psycho/spirituality. I’m a longtime painter and reader.