Here, I go into some of the postures and attitudes surrounding the conversation on wealth and poverty, which is a continuation from the last video post on Religion and Culture…Enjoy!
This entry was posted on April 28, 2012 by oakritchie. It was filed under Baha'i, education, Media, money, race, Religion, society and was tagged with action, Bahai, Class, colby gottert, communication, community, Cycles of violence, dialogue, economics, Equality, experiment, family, finance, governance, government, individual, institution, Justice, Materialism, media, Money, moving forward, nature, Oak, poor, Pressure, reflection, Religion, rich, Ritchie, selfish, Society, soul, spirituality, steady flow, time, unity, Violence, War, Warfare, waste, Wealth.
It all seems so big, too big in fact, these trends that you are speaking of. I mean guilt, blame, animosity folks go through years of counseling to try and break free of these chains. What are some initial questions we can ask ourselves/our communities, or postures we hold/ gestures we can use to begin to…to…bridge the gap between the rich and the poor?
April 29, 2012 at 4:25 am
Good question, Marcos!
I personally have to start with what kinds of people I think of as “them”…Am I making that “themness” up? Why? Are they really that different from me? How are we similar and different? What can we learn from each other? What informed my assumption of “them”? Was it a sitcom or watching “Cops”, or was it my family?…
That’s where I start.
April 29, 2012 at 10:00 pm
I started trying to define “them”, and think about WHERE “they” are, and I instantly went to a place of extremes. A mental place where the “rich” park $100,000 car outside of club houses. Inside they dress in $10,000 clothes, skips $100 drinks, and speak of trips around the world. Where the poor may not have cars, or places to sit. Some have homes but they are roach infested, second hand clothes, sipin’ on grape drink, talkin’ about bills that can’t be paid.
The reality i’ve EXPERIENCED is much different. I’ve met people worth a $100,000 who shop at Foodlion and often can be found in Levis and a t-shirt, or folks who are scrapping to get by yet go to ANY job interview looking like they’re about to meet Obama.
April 30, 2012 at 7:59 am
April 29, 2012 at 4:42 am
Thanks for joining us! What are your thoughts?
April 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm
All that to say, until I get to know someone i’ll never know their position on the wealth/poverty spectrum. When it comes to meeting people (even at my job where my interactions with others are not on equal footing) I must exude to mindset of “let me get to know a little about you”. If I know a little bit, I can understand a bit more, if I understand I can positively connect, and the more positive connections I can have within my sphere of influence the more likely effective SOULutions can to found to bridge the wealth/poverty gap.
April 30, 2012 at 8:02 am
This is a great discussion! Thanks Oak! I’d like to hear about examples of what it is we’re trying to do when we talk about the elimination of wealth and poverty; for example, a discussion on Thomas Breakwell and how he resigned his position here in the U.S. because he was exploiting others (in this case, children) for economic gain. Or maybe look at other cultures (e.g., Native Americans) that have very different understandings of resources and how they allocate and acquire resources as individuals and communities. Thanks Oak!
April 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm
Thank you for joining us, Stephanie!
Tell me more about Thomas Breakwell…sounds interesting. We do go further into some cultural values later on…you’ll be surprised at how hard it is to keep the size of the videos down to around5 minutes with topics like these. More to come, for sure!
April 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm
Very thought provoking…Spending over a month in South Africa with my wife this spring has forced us to think about these issues more than ever before, especially because overlaid on top of the economic divide are the layers of race and of violence and safety. White South Africans are the minority in terms of populations size, but they control the vast majority of economic resources. That being said, many live in fear of black South Africans, which becomes a very tangible barrier to reconciliation. I am white, and look like a white South African and blend perfectly into their community, on the flip side when I go to a black town I also look like a white South African and on the surface I bring all of the baggage associated with that community into a black neighborhood. Even my “American” accent usually isn’t enough to signal to people that I am not a white South Africa, so I cannot presume to gain access to a black community that I may choose to enter because I want to connect to that group of people.
Anyway, just a few thoughts…don’t have any conclusion, just thoughts. It would be great to hear from others who have been to South Africa about their experiences around race and wealth/poverty.
April 30, 2012 at 10:43 am
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