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OTHER ITA SITES:
Are You a Free Thinker or an Intellectual Prostitute?
As a father whose world revolves around his eight-year-old son, most of what little television I've watched over the last eight years has been kids' shows, primarily cartoons.
Although I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, one of my current favorites is "SpongeBob SquarePants".
I don't know why, it just is. :-)
One of my favorite episodes of "SpongeBob SquarePants" is titled "Selling Out".
In this episode, SpongeBob's employer, Mr. Krabs, sells "The Krusty Krab" restaurant for a trailer filled with suitcases full of money to a corporate conglomerate that intends on turning "The Krusty Krab" into a big chain.
Although it's what he always wanted, Mr. Krabs, now rich beyond his wildest dreams, quickly discovers retirement isn't all he thought it would be.
As a matter of fact...
He finds himself bored out of his mind with absolutely nothing to do.
Mr. Krabs takes a job as a busboy and dishwasher at "The Krusty Krab", now renamed "Krabby O' Mondays", only to find out it's no longer the restaurant it once was...
Everything is now very carefully "scripted", tightly controlled by a manager following corporate manuals full of strictly enforced policies, procedures, rules and regulations...
Squidward is constantly smiling...
Mr. Krabs' beloved "Krabby Patties" are no longer made by hand using the finest ingredients, but by a machine using recycled garbage passed off by slick marketing to unsuspecting customers as real food...
The customers' money is no longer collected by real sea creatures, but by an automated cash register.
When Mr. Krabs questions Carl, the new manager of "Krabby O' Mondays", Carl tells Mr. Krabs "it's better if you don't know" and closes the office door in his face.
Unable to take anymore...
With SpongeBob and Squidward standing by, scared to death to say anything for fear of being "punished"...
Mr. Krabs, who hasn't read the employee handbook, nor cares to, violates company policy and...
Everyone, including the customers, can hear what he knew to be "wrong".
With an "uprising" clearly underway...
Carl grabs his cell phone, calls corporate headquarters and says something to the effect of:
We have a free thinker!
When I first saw this episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants", it immediately reminded me of a passage I'd read in a book just a few days earlier and had been pondering...
In "How to Get What You Want", a book he wrote prior to "The Science of Getting Rich", the book for which he's best known, Wallace D. Wattles writes:
"If you are an employee and desire promotion, put life into everything you do; put in more than enough life and interest to fill each piece of work."
"But do not be servile; never be a flunkey; and above all things avoid the intellectual prostitution which is the vice of our times in many trades and most professions."
"I mean by this the being a mere hired apologist for and defender of immorality, graft, dishonesty, or vice in any form."
"The intellectual prostitute may rise in the service, but he is a lost soul."
"Respect yourself; be absolutely just to all; put LIFE into every act and thought..."
Although Wallace D. Wattles wrote these words nearly one hundred years ago, they could have just as easily been written today.
Think about it...
The "intellectual prostitution which is the vice of our times in many trades and most professions" has since risen to the level of an art form and even become a profession in and of itself.
All levels of business and government are virtually overflowing with paid apologizers, defenders and ignorers of immorality, graft, dishonesty, or vice...
People who've "sold out" their beliefs, morals and values for a paycheck, and often not a very big one at that, totally oblivious to the true cost...
"A lost soul," as Wallace D. Wattles put it.
Jesus, the Master Teacher, once asked:
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
With that in mind...
My question for you to ponder today is...
Are you a "free thinker" like Mr. Krabs or an "intellectual prostitute" like Carl?
The choice is yours...
Make it a good one...
It may well mean the difference between having respect for yourself and being "a lost soul". :-)
Copyright 2006 Tony Mase
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