Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We might need their help more than they need ours

If we think about issues of justice, of environment, of sustainability, many in the West claim some sort of moral superiority over how things ought to be, not just for themselves, but for the world--capitalism must be "greened", the authority of the World Trade Organisation must continue to be respected, the unquenchable thirst for energy here must only be dealt with by creating unquenchable thirsts for energy elsewhere. But I believe such arrogance in world view requires a constant boost of ego. It is the same constancy with which a drug addict needs a hit. Egos are boosted by selling war machines to an unstable Middle East, by giving "aid" to parts of the world that we think need it, by bullying other nations into adopting practices that make scarce essentials of ecology and life even scarcer. But as with all addictions and all inflated egos, they must come crumbling down sooner or later, and helplessness soon follows, for addiction cannot go hand in hand with resiliency. What can we learn then from those in Haiti?

I continue to find inspiration in those people that have the the least materially, yet the most spiritually--not only spiritually in the sense that we generally think of, but spiritually in the sense of fullness of spirit and hope, no matter what becomes of them and their loved ones.

It has been approximately two years since the massive earthquake in Haiti. Since then, other events have taken the limelight in our daily lives--the Arab Spring, elections in Burma, the Occupy movement. Yet, as one of my role models, Dick Gordon, and his team at The Story continue to remind us, things aren't back to what they used to be in Haiti. For us, those that live in the comfort of a home, with enough food and clothing, and enough material possessions around us to keep us distracted from most anything, what people go through in Haiti in their day-to-day lives serves as shining examples of humanity, of courage, of happiness, of contentment. Their spirit shows that there is much for us to be content with, and much that we can do without, allowing ourselves to tread more lightly on this Earth and show it some care and respect. Please click here and listen (at least) to the first story to hear what I am talking about It is one of the most powerful stories I have ever heard. I thank Under the Sun for their tremendous production of this piece.

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