There was a picture circulating on the internet and it included a picture on the left of a kid crying because she got the wrong iPhone for Christmas and on the right was a boy in an “undeveloped country” with grungy man-made flips flops on. It went viral and this meme caused a lot of us to judge.
iPhones and wifi technology might be overrated. As you can see, I’m using a computer; they are convenient but can cause us to lose our connection to people. I don’t want to be poor myself, but I envy those who are living humbly and think they are much better off spiritually than those living in industrial times. I heard that cell phones are called “cell phones” as they imprison us — as if we were living in actual cells. In a way, I want an “apocalypse” to happen so we can be freed from technology and return Home to the simplicity of nature…. because I do envy some aspects of the “third world”. Not all, but those aspects that get people to connect and not be so afraid of one another.
How do we know the “first world” won’t ever experience poverty on a grand scale as can be seen in Vietnam? Look at how the middle class in the US and Britain are dissolving. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Remember Venezuela? This didn’t happen to them overnight.
On a spiritual note, I think it would be great if we all experience what true poverty was such as living in the streets, eating out of garbage cans, waiting for 6 hours in line at the store to buy a pack of beans that cost 50.00. Many of us westerners cannot even imagine what that entails and the experience of it would humble some of us and again, bring some of us closer to one another, give us the compassion we didn’t have before and connect us on levels we weren’t able to connect before. Poverty creates care, empathy, gratitude, humility, the strength of vulnerability to both give and receive help, and wisdom. The poor realize what is important in life. They get it. The humble are always better off than the kids complaining about their iPhones.
Regarding the famous girl crying over her iPhone: People might be materialistic because material goods replace the love less received. We have to realize that love does not mean presents (gifts), but PRESENCE. So many of us materialistic people might be trying to find connection and have never found it with a human being, so we resort to inanimate objects to fill our empty hearts. And so those inanimate objects become an addiction as others might become addicted to drugs, sex, alcohol, busy-ness, overworking, and overeating. I was there myself. I was there until I found real love and no longer needed things to replace people. I hope that she will find her way like I did. Even if she finds a puppy to love….
Those in starving countries have a better chance at real connection especially those living in what we misguidedly attribute to “primitive tribes”.
We only get mad at others and in this case, the crying girl with the iPhone, because we either lack experience or we don’t understand ourselves. But we need to start asking WHY people do things instead of the usual knee-jerk temptation to judge others. We are not better people if we pity the poor and neglect the other kind of poor (being unloved and trying to cope with that through material goods). The REAL missionaries have compassion in their hearts for EVERYONE and they know what makes people tick. They are old souls and they just GET people and love everybody. Because that is what Source love does. True love is indiscriminate and inclusive. The below quote by Mother Teresa was a great example of that kind of love.
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” –Mother Teresa