A homeless person can have as many ideas as a mid-level executive in Manhattan. The only line that separates them is opportunity. The former will have almost none. The latter will be drowning in it, but he’ll only waste it if his motivations are selfish or shortsighted.
I was watching Prince of Egypt last night, a marvelous animated film from the 2000s. A certain part stuck to me, which was when Moses helped Rameses become more favorable in their Father’s eyes.
In the film, the two brothers, Moses and Rameses, raced against each other in their chariots and got into trouble after destroying a temple. Rameses received a harsher reprimand from their father, the pharaoh, since he was next in line to the throne.
Having his brother’s back, Moses reasoned with their father about how Rameses only needed the right opportunity to prove that he can be responsible. So, later that night, the pharaoh “promoted” Rameses to Prince Regent. He now had a bigger responsibility—to oversee all the temples in Egypt. This was his chance to prove that he can be a strong pharaoh like his father.
Moses was the catalyst for Rameses getting his father’s approval. Through Moses’s persuasion, Rameses was given the “right opportunity.” However, Rameses did not want to make a difference; he just wanted to prove himself. Deep inside, he was insecure about his capabilities. He wanted to prove that he was worthy to be a successor of the pharaoh—that he wasn’t the weak link.
Rameses didn’t want to help his city. He chose to turn a blind eye to the blatant suffering of the Hebrews and the consequences that await him. Indeed, fortune frowned upon him. And one of the factors into his downfall was his stubbornness, which was rooted in his selfish motivation.
If only he had the right kind of motivation, he would have been more flexible. He would have seen the bigger picture. He would’ve realized why he should free the Hebrews from slavery.
This kind of phenomenon is evident in our society today. Many opportunities are given to people who have the wrong motivations. As a result, everybody loses. No one ever wins. It’s like giving a knife to a person—and they choose to end a life, instead of extracting the bullets out of a wounded human being.