Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Could Poverty Be a Blessing?

I know this blog has been strangely quiet. This may have something to do with our house still in half-unpacked boxes. Or the fact that we’re only 2 weeks away from finished with the homeschool year, or that I’ve just sent out a 4-page newsletter. For whatever reason, in the slivers of free time (actually while I was on the couch with a stomach ache and Kent was cooking dinner last week) I managed to read a most thought-provoking article with the above title.

This quote has been churning around ever since:
“What we have developed is only society, the collectivity, the organization, regimentation, planning, bureaucracy… and anonymous impersonal technology. As for man’s need to be treated not as a machine for production but as a person, to assert his personal identity, and to have genuine relationships with other people… we are incontestably underdeveloped, not even developing, but regressing. Everything is sacrificed to profit and to material prosperity… Even our pleasures have become mass movements, media-controlled… and exploited by commercial enterprises.”
-Paul Tournier in Creative Suffering

I'm not saying I agree 100%, but there ARE some ways it seems Africa is more 'in touch with the nature of things'. Little is taken for granted and relationships are more important than currency. There is a freedom in simplicity and a security in a vast network of family and friends. Thoughts?


Brittany Martin said...

I think that description is true of any society that has forgotten the true God and worships Mammon instead. Even poor people can lust after riches, but God always promises wealth to His people when they are faithful, and that wealth is usually not material goods.

I've never been to Africa, but maybe the difference between a place like Congo and the U.S., is that in the U.S. we try to pretend we're not rich--just "middle class," which is really a way of saying we're not as rich as we wish we were.

Michelle said...

This is interesting stuff. And since you wrote "Thoughts?" and there weren't any comments yet, I just had to supply one. :) Networks of friends and family are crucial to me, yet I see others who let them go. All the THINGS around me cause me to ponder what really matters in the long run...