Jim Janknegt‘s picture of the Rich Fool describes two economies. The economy of the rich fool shows the grim reality of the rich fool who decided to build bigger barns and to take life easier. He is on his own, surrounded by “stuff” with the lights turned down – presumably saving money. Neighbours live in a smaller house. They are bathed in light as they gather round the table enjoying company of each other. Jesus’s parable, Jim’s picture, and the credit crunch underline the folly of materialistic capitalism. We’ve been led to believe that we should follow the lead of those with style – celebrity lifestyle – with the likes of HEAT magazine. From this picture we seem to have a lot to learn from those who haven’t succeeded in the worldly economic sense – those who value people more than things – those who look out for others instead of just looking out for themselves.
Rev Tim Hastie Smith, speaking at the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference referred to the “prophetic duty” of schools to challenge lives “dedicated to the acquisition of more things”. He said the next generation will learn to make do with less only if it is introduced to a different sort of wealth.