© 2012 Aaron Atkinson

Put your money where your walk is

With a bit of creative thinking, a few moments of free time, and a suitable opportunity, any forum can be transformed into a platform to tell a good story. Take this offertory message I recently gave at church…


In the exciting world of ethical theory there’s a thing called Utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism says that when faced with a decision, the best course of action to choose is the one that maximizes the overall happiness of all parties involved. Essentially, to make the utilitarian choice is to make the choice that makes the world a better, happier place, one small decision at a time.

It’s with this in mind that I want to tell you a story about our dog Indie. When it’s not bird hunting season, Indie’s favorite thing to do is to go for her evening walk. Laura and I typically get home from work, eat dinner and clean up. And then, like clockwork, Indie will go to the front door. If we ignore her she’ll give a little whine, she’ll come and bump my leg, and then she’ll run back to the front door. Even though she can’t verbalize her desire, we do know exactly what we need to do to make her happy.

But there are days when life gets tough. When work is brutal, we get home late, or when the weather is too hot, too cold or too wet. Almost every day, it would be easy to make an excuse and to find a reason not to go.

But most days we walk.

And we walk because we know it maximizes the happiness of our household. Indie gets to point a few robins, Laura and I get some exercise and take a few minutes to visit, we usually wave to and chat with a few neighbors, and without fail, when we get home we’re all glad that we went.

It’s time to let your contribution go for a happiness-maximizing walk around the neighborhood.


Now, go for a walk, or go to church and put some money in the collection plate.




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