Sunday, June 25, 2017

Relative Poverty

James at I Don't Know But... has a link that reminds us in its thread that constant contact with very wealthy people can make you feel poor. It's a relatively easy exercise, and conservatives do it all the time, to note what it is that the poorest 10% in America actually own, complaining at them for having the temerity to think themselves poor.  Yet that is not only the poor who do that - it is everyone.

We go to church in a wealthy town, and many people in our congregation consider an exceptionally high level of wealth to be just a bit above average.  If you press them, they backpedal and do recognise at some level how amazingly well-off they are.  But that is not their initial reaction.  Nor is everyone in the congregation rich, and regardless of wealth their lives are not without serious suffering. Yet stray comments are revealing, and they don't look at things the same way I do.

Nor do I look at things the same way as many others in America who have left.  It takes effort, I think to remind oneself to feel grateful and not resentful.  It does not come naturally, which is why the problem made it all the way to the top ten Commandments for living. I don't think we hear many sermons on coveting these days.


Sam L. said...

I do not know the wealth of those I am acquainted with nor do I care. I'm satisfied with what I have. I'm retired, so I'm not competitive.

Texan99 said...

I don't think of myself as wealthy, but . . . I don't have to worry about the utilities getting turned off. I know people who do.