Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More about Injustice

I talked to a good friend about the disparity between the rich and the poor, that so much injustice can exist on the planet. Where you would happily spend all your money to eat out and you know that in the same planet, even in the same city, there is someone who wishes for a dollar to get a bite just so he can get through the day.

I talked to my friend and told him things like these start to bother me.

He said, your wealth is given to you. Use it well. (Fair enough)

You might be rich. Be happy with that.. And then he says:

The poor will need to be content too.

It unsettled me that people can be made to (asked to!) be content in extreme lack. You don't say such things to a person starving on the road.

Agreed. You practise discernment when you give to people (or even in your wanting to give to people).

Agreed. Money is not everything, and what you mean by 'rich' and 'poor' is purely subjective. A millionaire feels poor compared to a billionaire. Similarly, I will consider a barber somewhere in an Indian village 'poorer' than me purely on the basis of money earned.

To digress a bit, is that even a right thing to do? To measure other people by your yardstick? What is my definition of better? What is good and what is bad?

Is it hygiene? Money? The amount of people you know? The amount of people who smile at you and are cordial to you?

I think when we judge nations and countries and cultures based on what we think are pointers of 'good' and 'bad' then that in itself becomes injustice.

In this light, people are content with what they have. Atleast to start with, they were. Sometimes most people are happy with what they are until someone else from somewhere else comes along and shows their idea of what is 'good' and 'bad' and how they fare in that standard.

Is it?

I don't know.

The most universal example of the most widely accepted version of what is 'good' and 'bad' are the Human Rights. I wouldn't say it is the absolute truth (because I believe that absolute truth is nothing else but the very spoken word and deed of God). Human interpretations of God's word is not truth either because it has been filtered by language, perception and understanding. But we will say that the Human Rights is the closest it comes to absolutes.

At the end of the day, Human Rights are just rights. Laws. Written down to make sure that there is a reference when people violate them. Almost like an idol so activists can point to it and take violaters on a guilt trip.

It still misses the mark.


bebe said...

Richness and poorness is definitely subjective.

If you were living alone in an Island, you be more content with what you have than anything.

Competition and comparison bring in discontentment.

I find when I am isolated, I have less reason to be wanting more. But as soon as I am plugged back in and see all the things BETTER than mine, a reason for WANT and the perspective of relative poorness materialises.

But I love your thought on absolute truth, and the fact that our interpretation of it is never entirely the truth.

{oh ben!} said...

Thanks.. its a tough nut to crack.