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Last week in a list of thoughts condensed from the popular world I wrote, “Impossible is impossible, so concentrate on the possible and do it well.” As I wrote those words, I was thinking of the many impossible things that people are grasping after. To me the most hopeless grasping is paying some organization ten percent of everything you earn to provide you with a guaranteed place in heaven. It is strange because even the most casual observation demonstrates that these authorities have no tangible real-world proof of their assertions. If that is true, then a huge percentage of people are giving their money to frauds. Generally all these holy men can recommend is that you pray, keep working, and wait for your rewards in heaven … and of course keep paying them to intercede for you with their imaginary gods.

Another pathetic hope is that going into debt to the bank is a quick way to personal satisfaction. They tell you that you get to have your goodies sooner, and thus to enjoy them more, by going into debt, but that’s absurd, because the moment you buy something on credit its value drops precipitously, because it is now a used item, and you could have bought an identical used item for a lot less than you paid for the new one. The amount saved by purchasing a used item in the first place, and living with it for a while, would be enough to purchase a new one in a few years, and from that point on you could always have new items because you were not in constant debt to the creditors. The only reasonable advice is to never go into debt because you are giving away your money to the bank. That means you are giving your money to people who already have more money than they need.

The world is full of examples of people grasping after impossible items, but the kicker is that by going into debt in various ways you become a slave. Perhaps not a slave with a chain around your ankle, but there might as well be one, because if you miss a payment to your creditors they will start putting pressure on you to pay up, and if that doesn’t work they will take what you thought of as your possessions away from you, and as those go away so do your social connections and all those things you hold dear, and if you don’t conform to the obligations of your self-created slavery you are soon destitute and begging in the street. It’s all because of grasping after things that are not really available to you. The obvious truth is that you can’t have the impossible because the impossible is impossible.

“You can’t have the impossible” sounds like an obvious falsehood, but it’s an obvious truth.