I have recently been more involved in exploring the ramifications of my faith. To be honest I have never really appreciated reading anything that was not strictly for entertainment purposes, which is why I prefer Freakonomics to End of Poverty as the entertainment value in the former is way beyond the latter even though the latter addresses my interests in economics directly.
So reading the second Vatican council or the catechism of the Catholic church although necessary just ends up being way down on my priority list. However, recently I have realised that you need to understand more what is meant when you say you are catholic or better yet when you recite the creed. What do you mean when you say, “I believe in the Catholic Church…”
Thankfully God always provides for us in a shape and way we can relate. So I have been active in my Young & Catholic group and I learn things there, and then there is the evening chapel group and also some simple books friends have suggested etc. Don’t get me wrong I have had to start reading (and its not like I am opposed to reading, after all I read journals and research papers, CFA prep materials etc, so if I prepare for grad school and professional certification, I must as well prepare for salvation) but as a visual and auditory learner, God has reintroduced me to the power of media: first through EWTN and then through www.formed.org
Thus, through my obsession with videos and music, God has centred my compass on His Son, who is the way, the truth and the life. In fact, now I even have my own ideas for content.
But that was just in the beginning, nowadays, everything I see, hear or do gets re-oriented with this internal compass of the Spirit to point to Jesus and salvation. for instance, one of my favourite songs by Malek Berry got re-writing as “Lord you are, Lord you are, Lord you are, more than just a friend to me, more than just a friend to me…” When I woke up one morning with that song on my lips and the joy of the Lord in my heart, I realised that I was slowly shifting my true North.
Therefore, when I wanted to write a blog, as economist are soo into blogging these days, I didn’t want to just talk about economist, mainly because traditional economics sees rational economic man, self-interest, utility theory and free markets as the ideal way to organise economic systems. Although I believe in free markets, my invisible hand has always been God, so a society built on selflessness and the greatest being the servant of all with decisions made not out of rationality but based on love, seems superior to me.
I can hear economist arguing how will you create incentives for innovation and progress, I can hear scientist arguing that how will you notice the reality and truth. But what is ‘progress’, what is ‘truth’. We live in a world with more wars, more refugees, more inequality than at any other time in our history and we have both the weapons and the negative effects of our innovation to cause the end of life on our planet. Our society with all its evolution, systems and laws cannot even mobilise to address global warming, replace fossil fuels with clean energy, agree to decommission all nuclear weapons, distribute enough food for the world’s population, end slavery and on and on. And these truths that we have been chasing:
- sugar is good for you, no its bad for you; alcohol is good for you, no its bad for you; high fructose corn syrup is good for you, no its bad for you; cholesterol is good for you, no its bad for you.
- Lobby cigarettes, lobby guns, lobby marijuana.
- Functional medicine is now revolutionising healthcare by telling people you need to eat healthy, sleep well, exercise and meditate to prevent or cure most illnesses from cancer to mental health issues; it actually works but we didn’t know that until NOW!!
Didn’t Daniel, in the bible, already show that eating vegetables and drinking water made him look healthier than the young men who ate the lavish food from the kings table? Didn’t ancient Chinese culture practice Tai Chi which is a combination of martial arts and meditation and philosophy that propagates harmony and balance both within and outside?
Now we build so many different machines to simulate the exercises and activity that organic and simpler lifestyles do naturally in the course of the day. Our compasses are being directed towards wealth, sex and power. Our economy has just transformed slavery under capitalism. This is what I want to study under my PhD: values, systems, incentives and sustainable, environmental-sound development.
Wisdom is judged by its fruits!
– God bless