Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Having versus being

We live in a world which suggests that what life is about is collecting the biggest parcel of goodies that we can possibly acquire. We all know that this senseless consumerism is a shallow trap, which has deadly consequences for all sorts of reasons.
The deadly consequences that enslaves child labourers so that sweatshop entrepreneurs can make obscene profits from sneakers and cheap clothes on the backs of children whose futures are stolen. The species of primates (gorillas and orangutangs ) that are threatened because our insatiable desire to have more chocolate demands the denuding of habitat to provide palm oil from old growth forest.
The martyred Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, is reported as saying that people should "Aspire not to have more but to be more.
He was an interesting case in point. A career churchman in many ways who became increasingly radicalised to the point where he began to stand up for the poor and the marginalised against the established interests of the Salvadorean state.
It cost him his life, shot as he was saying Mass (what a way to go!) he has become the hero of the modern church, and indeed a champion of the poor.
What might it might be like if I focussed on being more rather than having more?
If I tried to add to the quality of life, and what I can contribute to human community.
It's a potentially mind-blowing thought!

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