Do you remember the computer game The Sims? In the game you created a person and took control of their everyday life. From home building to relationships, careers to hobbies, your Sims’ world was at your disposal… at least until you ran out of money. But alas, there was a solution! A cheat code (named Rosebud), would allow you to create money out of thin air. In this simulated world, money is the only currency. Sure every other computer character could hate you, but guess what, it didn’t matter, because you could still build the biggest house in the neighborhood.
If you ever used the ‘Rosebud’ cheat in the game, you realized that the unlimited funds were exciting until you purchased everything the Sims world had to offer. At that point (typically 2-3 hours later), the game became stale and you would just “speed up life” to see what would happen next.
This world with unlimited funds is the similar to the hell C.S. Lewis describes in The Great Divorce. Lewis describes hell as a place where everyone is provided every thing/item they could dream up. However, as a byproduct, these people would not need relationships. This comes from the premise that healthy relationships are required for a functioning economy. If prosperity is given with no contact with others, the tendency would be to lean towards complete self-sufficiency losing our desire to interact.
If we lose this desire, we lose life. Life is all about the relationships we have, develop, and nurture over time. Think about the amount of counselors that make a living helping to mend broken relationships. This alone shows us how we are created for relationships, not money. The temptation is to think we don’t have enough things. What if instead of chasing these “things”, we chased healthy relationships? Instead of investing our time in working to get more, we invested our time in building relationships? This is what I’m working on right now. Though a “Rosebud” cheat would be nice, I don’t think it would ever satisfy.