What You’d Actually Do Anything For

We say we’d do anything for our family. We’d like to think if we were tested, if we had to make some terrible choice, if it really was a matter of life and death, or if we were struggling to subsist, we’d come through.

Would we though?

The reality is, the vast majority of us have never had to make a choice like that. And as it happens, our day-to-day actions suggest a very different set of priorities. Sure, we work hard. Sure, we strive. But who are we actually doing it for? What’s the real reason we spend those long hours in the office, that we get on airplanes, or make those compromises with our integrity?

As the wealthy oil and business woman Jeanne Anne says in Philip Meyer’s riveting and epic novel The Son (a must read and we have signed copies at The Painted Porch!), “All this for money. Money she did not need, money her daughter did not need, money her son did not need. No one she knew needed money. And yet, apparently, she would do anything for it. She would spend her days in Midland and her nights in San Francisco.”

We say it’s for our kids…but really it’s for the money. We want more than we need. We want it even though we know that it probably does as much harm as good. We say it’s for our family even though it takes us away from our family. And in spite of the fact that the one thing they want most…is us.

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