Thursday, 23 September 2010

What price a plate of beans?

Esau and Jacob were twin brothers, sons of Isaac. Esau was born first, and so, in the patriarchal society of the time, Esau would inherit his fathers wealth. Esau grew up to be a hunter, and was much loved by his father, whilst Jacob became a farmer, and was more loved by his mother, Rebecca.
And so one day, Esau had been out hunting and came back to the camp famished, to see Jacob preparing some bean stew. So Esau asked for some stew, but Jacob saw his chance and said to Esau: “You can have your fill if you sell me your birthright”. And Esau was young and impetuous and had no thought for the future, only his hunger, so he gave up his birthright to his twin for a plate of beans.
Jacob became the founder of the Jewish people and Esau was forgotten apart from a couple of stories. (Genesis 25 24-34).

And so it is with us. Our whole society is built around having convenience now, with no thought for the future. All the way from the short term policies of high finance down to popping out in the car rather than using the bus.

We use the supermarket rather than the local market, even although fresh local produce from the greengrocer and butcher is way better, and often even cheaper. We use the car rather than walk, even though we know that we are not fit, and miss the pleasure of the sun and the air and meeting people. We buy bland mass produced bread, when the locally made artisan bread is a joy to the senses. We buy cheap and think we have a bargain when in reality the stuff is often rubbish and people and the environment on the other side of the world have been trashed. We fly rather than use the train, even although St Pancras International train station is way more beautiful than Heathrow, and we can enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

We have squandered our inheritance for a plate of beans.

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