Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Poverty is Relative— Part 1

Many are worried about the economy. Greece is teetering on bankruptcy and other nations have precarious economic situations, which could lead to a domino effect throughout the world. The "Occupy" protests have spread to other cities and are turning violent in some places. Economic indicators continue being dismal, and the presidential campaign stirs more discouragement than hope. BTW, have you seen the new iPhone 4S with Siri? It's incredible how we continue consuming new stuff anyway.

Moonrise @ Rainbow Village (Dumaguete City)
In Dumaguete City, where I'll be the next three months, there are signs of prosperity, yet  poverty continues. When we first moved here in 1990, there were only 6 long distance phone lines going out from the city, and all overseas calls had to go through these 6 lines. Calls were requested through our operators and placed with  operators in a neighboring island—then we would wait for a connection to the outside world. Physical land lines were at a premium and only needed four digit identities. Today, cell phone companies vie for customers, and there's an iStore in a mall selling the newest Apple technology in Dumaguete City...amazing!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


At its heart, willfulness is self-exaltation—making our self most important. This includes pursuing selfish interests and making them of highest value. We do this, or they become such, by the amount of time and energy invested in them. OK, nothing new with that observation, but what's behind it? What drives this want, this desire, this consuming lust? Why does it become greater in value and importance than anything or anyone else?

Grabbing for Candy at Rainbow's Christmas Party
This willful drive is seen as early as toddlerhood with the learning of "no" and insistence of self-will, in spite of its self-destructive possibilites. Currently, in the US, it's being demonstrated by those involved in the "Occupy" protests, the shameless stalemate within Congress and with the President, along with the continuing greed of financial institutions, as with the latest revelation of exorbitant bonuses for mediocre performance. So, is it just simple greed or pride that drives this willfulness? It's deeper than that.