Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Service



I've been listening to Mother Teresa's biography on tape and thinking about Ayn Rand. It seems to me that Mother Teresa's life is the refutation of Rand's ideas that service must always equal servitude. (One does wonder who cleaned the toilet at her house, as it's impossible to picture Rand doing it.) Mother Teresa lived a life that Rand would have found distasteful and degrading, in which she embraced people who were the ultimate losers in Rand's philosophy. But it was Mother Teresa who lived a life of joy, while Rand never seemed to find happiness or peace anywhere. Now, it's certainly true that some people use ideals and principles as a rope to bind other people as slaves; and Rand was right to despise that, as she was right to insist that people should work with their own dreams and talents. But it occurs to me that my own ego is just as cruel a tyrant as other people's, so serving myself is not a desirable form of employment.

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