Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Observation on the Economic Crisis

Here in Iraq you get to meet a lot of people from all over the world. In addition to our local Iraqi partners, you have people from various places that have come here to serve or to work. You get to talk to individuals from the Mediterranean, the Far East, Europe, northwestern Asia, and even southern parts of Africa. Some are here on behalf of their governments, but most of them are here to work. They are here because Iraq, as damaged as westerners incorrectly think it is, seems to hold more opportunity for them than their homelands.

So it isn’t just horrible that we don’t do more to help the real poor. It isn’t just horrible that we put them out of our mind and rarely ever think of the plight of the rest of humanity.

It’s that we, in fat and secure America of all places, would dare to complain about our own financial situation as if any of us in suburbia are becoming truly poor as the rest of the world knows poor.

It is the height of narcissistic selfishness to consider yourself poor simply because you have less than your neighbor who happens to be even more filthy rich than you are. We have become so spoiled by our prosperity that we have set a standard of poverty and security that includes comforts that are inaccessible to most people who live on this planet.

If we look closely and critically at ourselves, we can see that our anxiety is not that we are failing to meet our basic needs. It is that we can no longer afford the treasures and wants that we should be entitled to.

…and isn’t that the very foundation of envy and greed?

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