Since the first vending machine, in 1888, in NY City, dispensing Adam’s gum, few have been exempt from a familiar frustration. Not getting the item, for which we deposited our money. Worse yet, we didn’t even get our money back. Outrage is eclipsed only by a litany of expletives spewed forth, and a “righteous kick” for good measure. Even with advanced digital technology, there’s no guarantee we’ll get the item we selected from that “unsympathetic machine.”
A successful financial mogul of the past century was asked, “Would you ever pray?” he replied unapologetically, “Of course! If there was ever something I couldn’t buy.” Does that ring familiar? We often speak of our inadequacy to get “beyond our human dilemma,” yet relying on a flimsy personal experience alone. “Pulling ourselves up by our humanistic boot straps,” some reply. Off-springs quickly learn to parrot such rhetoric when life pummels them relentlessly. Existentialist, Soren Kirkegaard, whose theology was unorthodox, however, this observation is irrefutable, “Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer.” Prince or pauper, the sparks will fly with certainty.