Thursday, 22 August 2013


Today I feel discouraged.  I feel like I'll never do any good in this world.  Moreover I am not even sure what good looks like.  I wanna squash disparity, but I don't want to do it by enabling the world's population to live like North American, that is both unsustainable and far from the best life.  Children in Chad play happily with their siblings.  Not because they have the newest toy to play with, I don't know why.  Making the world like us (the rich) would steal their happiness.  We really are not that great.  But some things that money brings - safe drinking water, food, education, are really great.  Perhaps we could have one world that is the best of both current situations.  The rich sacrifice their luxuries and clean water, enough food and some education are given to all.  That seems like a lovely world, but how do we get there?

"A linen shirt, for example, is strictly speaking, not a necessary of life... But in the present times, through the greater part of Europe, a credible day-labourer would be ashamed to appear in public without a linen shirt, the want of which would be supposed to denote that disgraceful degree of poverty which, it is presumed, no body can well fall into without extreme bad conduct.  Custom, in the same manner, had rendered leather shoes a necessary of life in England.  The poorest creditable person of either sex would be ashamed to appear in public without them"
Adam Smith - The Wealth of Nations 1776

I think we could substitute smart phone for linen shirt.  Probably some other things too.  We have got to stop thinking like that.  What if having excess became shameful...  shame probably isn't the best way to motivate social change.

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