There are always those that must have someone to look down on. That’s not new or news. And we all know that the poor are mostly powerless to defend themselves. That makes them the target of choice for a variety of social ills.
Having voluntarily lived in poverty, myself, and have worked with and walked along side the poor of the world for almost five decades, I have a fairly strong understanding of their struggle. The vast majority of those living in poverty around the world consistently work harder that most of us can begin to comprehend.
The true culprit is the unadulterated greed of those of us who are wealthy beyond measure. We see unlimited wealth as a right, not a gift, and we refuse to share our abundance. Any professing Christian pointing to the poor as a problem is not believer in Jesus Christ and has certainly never met the Jesus of the Gospels.
Close to 50% of citizens refused to participate in the last election for the President of the United States. That is their right. But the cost, ever more apparent to the entire world, is not only painful, it is far more damaging than we can imagine.
Our right as citizens is one of the greatest gifts we have been given. To choose not to exercise our right to vote is the ultimate disrespect all of those whose sacrifices have given it to us. Choosing to not participate, even at the most basic level, in politics is what guarantees that we have the government we deserve.
The words of Picasso ring true for me. I believe every single one of us are born as unique and gifted individuals. Each of us have a special gift that we can and should share to make the world a better place.
True joy is when we are finally able to recognize that gift and begin sharing it. It is in the giving of our gift that we begin growing into our full humanity.
Leadership includes speaking up, speaking out and taking action on critical issues impacting those we serve. Pope Francis has humbly and consistently demonstrated this leadership since arriving in Rome.
His ministry focused on the poor and dispossed marks him as a true disciple of Jesus Christ, just as this recent Earth Day quote identifies him as a leader unafraid to acknowledge reality.
It’s a shame and disgrace that more of our United States politicians could do the same.
This is the one true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. – George Bernard Shaw
This has to be one of my all-time favorite Shaw quotes. Every time I read it I get that tingling recognition that he nailed it.
Here is a man who understands. Here is someone that has found the secret.
The true joy for which we all seek will never be found wrapped up in our own selfish hunt for pleasure.True joy comes from being totally used up for the good of the community.
I couldn’t agree more strongly with Shaw. We have the privilege of giving ourselves totally for those most in need. Every one of us can be a “splendid torch” for those around us and those that follow us. Life is a gift to be given away so that there is nothing left when our time here is finally done.