Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I saw Donald Trump on CNN the other night, after returning from Chicago. Yes, I was up later than I should have been, but I've been doing that for weeks now, so what of it? Anyway, he was talking about his book, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", and I thought it sounded really interesting. They talked about how you don't learn to deal with money in school or anywhere, but how most people learn to deal with money from the home. It sounded really interesting, partly because I don't come from a rich family and I feel like I know absolutely nothing about really 'increasing my means' as he puts it. Lots of people know how to live within their means, he claims, but the book is supposed to tell you how to increase your means. I don't particularly like the idea of trying to find happiness by getting money and living the high life, but I was impressed nonetheless, and I cannot deny my own desire to have the kind of income that would allow me to pursue the things I love, like traveling and... food.

But what really struck me about Trump in this interview on television is that he was saying he wants us to be able to make money and be happy. Despite my disagreement on the point of where happiness lies, it was impressive to me that he claimed to genuinely want others to be successful for their happiness. I know it could be some nice sounding gibberish from a guy who wants to sell his book and needs to pass himself off as a nice guy, and from any other guy I'd assume that was the case. But this is Donald Trump. He's rich enough that he doesn't need to be nice to sell a book teaching people to deal with money, and he doesn't really need to sell the book anyway. People would buy it whether he was nice about it or not, especially considering the persona he's developed in his reality tv show. He claims he genuinely enjoys teaching people. It's just cool to see after watching stupid info-mercials about how to get rich quick, which you know are really scams or crackpot schemes that will only confuse you instead of actually bringing you a profit. Trump insists you have to know what you're doing, take the time and effort and experience needed to know the ropes of the business world.

It's just made me think more and more about our world that we live in. There are a lot of people around who actually want others to be happy. The church mentality I grew up around said the world was evil and that everyone in it was steeped in sin and if they didn't have God, then they couldn't do good. It was not entirely pervasive in my church or my family, but it was there. It was in scripture according to interpretation and it was floating around. I've since come to see that there is a lot of good all around me, and that God is active in this world and making things new and that people who don't necessarily experience his manifest presence are nevertheless affected. I know there is still a dark underbelly to our society and that there is still evil in the world, but when I see people like Donald Trump wanting others to be happy and Bill Gates and his wife spearheading the effort to end disease and poverty in Africa, I just have to admit that that has to come from somewhere.

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