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Clio's Temple

Who controls whom?

The search warrants which the police in Newtown, CT executed after the Sandy Hook shootings have now been made public. They show that the Lanza home was equipped to rival a National Guard armory. As if possession of an arsenal wasn't enough, apparently Adam Lanza left something behind when he went on his shooting rampage - a check from his mother noting that it was for the purchase of yet another weapon.

How much is enough? This question confronts many of us at some point in our lives. "How much" may pertain to weapons, money, food, sex, or anything else that may become the focus of an obsession. It's unsettling to face this question, which may be why many people fail or refuse to confront the pull that "things" have over them.

This is not the prelude to a screed against weapons, money, food, or sex. Like most other boys growing up in the small town South, I learned to shoot at an early age. My grandfather taught me how to use the shotgun which he left me at his death. I spent time on rifle ranges at Boy Scout camp and in ROTC. Along with the instruction in techniques of weaponry, I learned to respect things that had the power of a firearm.

Likewise, I learned that the pursuit of money is more or less unavoidable. I've had the good fortune to accumulate enough wealth to leave me with a sense that retirement won't require eating dog food. I've bought lottery tickets, but usually with the sneaking suspicion that winning a Powerball jackpot might be more money than I should ever have. I don't envy those with mind-boggling wealth. Donald Trump is far richer than I will ever be, but his conduct seems to shout, "Fool on the loose!" I don't think I'm a fool now and hope I never will be.

All of which leads me to a trite though just observation: It's better to control what you have than to let what you have control you. I have much to be thankful for in my life, not the least of which is that I don't think I've ever had more success than I could handle. I hope I can still say that at the end of my life.

2 Comments to Who controls whom?:

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