Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rich people problems

Just because there is inequality in the world doesn't take away from the fact that each and everyone of us is human. And because we are human, most (not all) of us just have problems. (Ok. I was trying to find the link to a picture of a man from Vanuatu, who is probably one of the "happiest men in the world," but I can't find it. I can see his face in my head. Instead, you'll just have to deal with this link...oh...rich person problem...) And, for those of us in the industrialised, agriculturally-based, "civilised" world, we still have our fair share of "problems"...like the ones below.





In our day-to-day lives, it seems then that we end up complaining about the mundane, the inconsequential, the meaningless. Indeed, the meaninglessness of our complaints is embodied and epitomised in our constant unappreciation of what we have. Because, if we appreciated what we had, we would not really complain about anything, and if we didn't complain about anything, it would mean that we are content, and if we are content, we wouldn't want more, and if we didn't want more, another gold mine wouldn't have to be dug in Peru, disrupting indigenous lives and pristine ecosystems; another mountaintop wouldn't have to be blown to smithereens to satisfy our constant urge for energy.

Rich people problems are addressed by rich people solutions, comprised of domination, violence, disrespect; the technologies that have stemmed from our abilities to be able to devote vast amounts of time and effort and nature to them--because of our "richness"--have resulted in vast inequalities, and have resulted in violence and disrespect amongst people and towards nature, maybe just too far away in space and time for us to really care or take notice. One might say, "Darshan, those brutes in [insert name of "developing" part of the world here] are those that use violence, that disrespect human rights, that have authoritarian regimes. Not us. We are the morally sound. We deal with things legally here. We promote peace and justice and fairness and equality." Well, we just exemplify domination, violence, and disrespect in different ways, that's all.

For continued thanksgiving, here's to individual and collective contentment, appreciation, satisfaction, and happiness.

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