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“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

Growing Dominion, Part 17

We do not often think of ourselves as rich, but we are. We tend to grade on a curve, and since most of the people around us do not live in third world conditions, we do not factor that into our thinking. This means that we think of ourselves as “well off” or “not well off” based upon the surrounding population. But considering the state of the world, and the history of the world, this is a really skewed sample size. When I was a boy, poor people were the ones with a black and white television. All of us have hot and cold running water, decent medical care available, an automobile or two, and so on. We measure wealth and poverty by the kind of car we have, and not whether we have one.

How does this relate to health issues? Because we do not recognize how wealthy we actually are, we frequently do not recognize that many of the health concerns we get into are actually luxuries, or even hobbies, of the rich. This is not an argument against such things necessarily. It is simply an observation that we should recognize what is actually going on. The fact that someone has a large, slate shower stall can make them feel like they are living in a very earthy, peasant-kind of way, when it actually costs a million dollars or two. In a similar way, what is the difference between free-range chicken, and the kind of chicken that is so full of hormones that it looks like a candidate for the Mr. Universe body-building competition? Besides the hormones, I mean? One striking difference is cost. The practice of industrial farming, chicken-raising, frankenfoods, and so on, has a lot going against it. One of the things that it has going for it, however, is that it has prevented many tens of thousands from starving to death. Fresh corn is far superior to canned corn. But fresh corn doesn’t feed the world.

Now, it may very well be that those hormones are unhealthy. But so is starving to death. What good is hormone-free starvation? This means that one of the basic questions when it comes to issues of health, eating right, and so forth, is this: compared to what? The problem is not that many strive to make their medical care better, their food better, their lifestyles better. This is only reasonable and right. It is a means of growing dominion. The problem is that we do not admit to ourselves that we are striving, in all this, to be wealthy.

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