Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Poverty Excuse

You shouldn’t judge poverty unless you have experienced it.
Is like me trying to understand what is to be a woman or black or gay.
Your views are always distorted by your social conditioning and the only way to know reality is by direct experience.

But no matter what your background is and what your life experience has taught you, we still have a common bond, a common truth, and understanding and that is:
“The world is a reflection of who we are, of what we think and how we act.”

I was watching a video on YouTube about India and although the program was focusing on the Indian culture in general and Indian religious beliefs, in particular, I couldn’t not notice the backgrounds of the sites and scenes.
Sorry to say that but India is a filthy place.

Among the most beautiful natural settings and the most amazing architecture, there was always the presence of filth, decay, and neglect.
I know India is a poor country and I heard that excuse a hundred times in a hundred places, but poverty is not an excuse.

I was born and raised in a poor country, in a poor village.
The people of the village had maybe one set of “good” clothing they wore on Sundays to go to church or very special occasions.
Their daily clothing was patched until patching was no more possible and then the rags were turned into quilts or patches for other clothes.
But they were washed as soon they got dirty.

There were always flowers in the house and in the yard.
The roads were always clean. And people did their best with the little they had to make the village look as good as possible.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to pick up a piece of garbage from the sidewalk.
You don’t have to be rich to take a shower or wash your clothes.

And I heard the excuse that they are “lucky” if they have clean water to drink.
But I lived in a village and the water was always clean. The rivers and streams were always good to drink. The water doesn’t get filthy by itself, you know. So unless you live in Sahara or some other desert where water is scarce, I don’t buy that excuse either.

How can such a spiritual culture as India can be so obvious to such basic things like cleanliness and beauty?
Maybe spirituality is not what I think it is; an enlightened state of mind and being.
Maybe spirituality is just a superstition, a belief in supernatural and things we don’t understand.
Yet even that doesn’t explain it.

If you believe in God, in something superior, pure, and beautiful how can you not want to elevate yourself above your condition?
How come you not aspire for something better, for a better self and a better surrounding?

I think poverty is just a convenient excuse, a way to blame responsibility on somebody and something else.
You don’t need to be rich to have dignity and self-respect.
The only explanation I accept for our human condition is that of “spiritual poverty” which is not given but a choice.

If you can have a smart phone and you are not taking a shower you are filthy because you are filthy. What the world needs is not more money or more and better technology and gadgets.
What the world really badly needs is better people.

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