Who pays for the extremes of wealth?
Some weeks ago it was announced that Spain was to pay $152m for a soccer player this was just the purchase fee. Around the same time I had been watching a documentary on the unfolding human tragedy in an African village and was extremely moved to watch a mum holding her dying child. Both mum and child were looking at each other eye to eye in a deep and loving manner with desperate sadness across their faces. It would have been so easy to rationalise the scene, and say oh yes I have seen it before but I couldn’t. I remembered also a famous wedding involving one of our so called sporting greats, a national hero! The media glorified the event and its claimed $30m price tag. The hailed hero and his heroine wallowed in their wealth and gloated to the world of how great they were. Only this week it was revealed on television just how much some television celebrities are paid annually; the great humanitarians Dr Phil and Oprah receive around $90m and $300m respectively. Surely $1m per annum would be enough and they could give the remainder to humanitarian and environmental charities; being such great people they probably give most of their money and assets to charities to help the poor?
For just a moment think what it would be like holding your child, or grandchild, in your arms watching him or her die of starvation and disease, as millions of mums do all around the world every day. Would you still admire the extremes of capitalism? The rich and greedy will say without the extremes of wealth things would be alot worse; you will always have backward countries suffering and it’s because of their own ignorance or lack of drive to achieve. It’s there own fault. Well it’s not their fault, this is happening because of human greed. 95% to 99% of the cake is being eaten by 1% to 5% of the people. We all suffer from greed but most of us try to control it, and if we don’t we should.
This letter is about condemning the extremes of greed and those who aspire to it. Most people are happy with good food, clean water, a modest home, good health, people to love and to be loved back. These simple ideals are the dreams of around five billion human beings, with about two billion living in absolute despair. This letter may seem harsh but if we are to claim to be truly human, we need to demonstrate compassion driven by our conscience, we need to evolve our values of love, caring and sharing in order to build a better world where a loving mum does not have to watch her child die a cruel and meaningless death.
We should all ask ourselves how much do I need and how much do I want? And if I take more than I need what are the consequences for somebody else?
Authorised by Alan Lappin, PO Box 1234 Wangaratta VIC 3676