Will we come out of this one poor or rich?

 We all know that the current situation supposes a change in society. What I do not see so clearly is the image that many have of this change and how many people will return to seek the same profit oriented approach as soon as economy and western life style gets active again ... I also wonder how many people thought that we lived in an ideal society that needed no change...

 For those of us who have traveled and lived in other cultures and countries and have had the gift of seeing our own culture from outside, the image that many have that we live in an advanced country or first world, is seriously questioned. Of course, we call ourselves advanced because we use only economic and technological criteria.

The question that arises is that if the criteria was how we value care, either to the weak or to the disadvantaged, either to the planet  or to ecosystems, if the criteria was how we welcome, integrate and learn from other cultures, how we relate to the neighbours and our abilities for cooperation instead of competition, perhaps we would have a surprise and we'll realize that in many ways we are in the third world and that in these aspects, a jungle tribe is much more advanced than us.

 The paradox is that we also live in the third world if we use humility as a criteria, and it is difficult for society to be mature enough to accept that we are less and that we can learn a lot from those people that we allow to drown in the sea. Yes, regarding humanity, we are also in the third world, this society that has resources to end hunger but not only allows people on the planet to starve to death, but also exploits and steals natural resources of the wrongly-named "Poor" countries.

 And applying simply these economic / technological criteria to value our environment now turns against us. It is a double edged sword. If we continue to maintain this vision, the situation that we will find in our post-confinement society already looks bleak ...

 It is but an opportunity to change the criteria that we use to measure society and our own lives. We are in a society that lives ignoring death, when facing death helps us to put real value on things. The most important things in life are not measured in money terms, you don't need to wait to have the breath of death on your nape to think about it. We are in a society where happiness is sought through consumption, putting hope of being happier in buying or consuming, when this has actually led us to constant unhappiness and to planet destruction with excessive and abusive consumption. We are in a society focused to educate consumers and workforce to produce, not conscious mature people with own criteria.... Is it that difficult to see that it is not about having more but being better? To be a good person, you don't need money but humility and many other things not based on money.

 If there is anything we can learn from this situation, it is that we can live with less, and we can do lots of meaningfull things without money.

If we change the criteria that we use to measure our life, we can get out of this rich and continue to be rich for the rest of our lives:

  Rich in relationships, in growth and personal knowledge, in cooking skills, in cooperating and helping each other, in quality friends ...

 Rich in having a less polluted, more fertile nature with more diversity. This spring is the most fertile ever I can remember.

 Rich in knowing how to supply ourselves, cultivating, repairing, and living in a more simple way.

 Rich in knowing how to use time in a different way, in finding happiness in attitude, not in objects.

 Rich in deeper conversations, in less superficiality, in knowing how to listen to others, in humility, wisdom and maturity.

 Rich in leaving our planet better than how we found it, in feeling satisfaction of doing what contributes to others and to ourselves.

 Rich in knowing that the best wealth is having an environment of friends and people who you love and love you.

 Rich in giving meaning to life and knowing that when you face death you will do it calmly, with a smile and with the certainty that your stay in this world has contributed to you and to others, that you have used your time to nourish yourself and at the same time contribute positively arround you.

  Let the poor be the ones who accumulate money and dedicate all their time to accumulate more because the criteria that marks their lives is economic profit ... I am saddened when I think that perhaps in the last moments of their lives they will realize that everything they have accumulated in money or belongings is useless to them because life is measured in time and in what we have put time into, and they have dedicated their time to sell it in exchange for money ...

 Now what Eduardo Galeano said comes to my mind: "poor people, what would really be called poor people, are those who don't know that they are poor."


Author: Pere Vidal- increiblesostenible.org

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