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Monday, June 13, 2011

The Most Toys

After decades of study and travel I was easily able to see why our underhanded, dangerous, neo-colonialism disturbed the peoples of nearly every nation on earth with our corporate tentacles distorting the political, economic and cultural aspects of their lives with its wringing exploitation.

However, criticism of another of our 'national characteristics' surprised and disturbed me. It was something I knew well and thought I understood pretty well. It was something I a accepted and had found acceptable. What had surprised and disturbed me was how deeply it was felt by the peoples of the earth and how profoundly disillusioned and betrayed many felt because of it.
They called us materialistic and it was our materialism which disturbed them. What touched and disappointed them so deeply was to observe that our concern with money and possessions seemed  stronger than our concerns with spiritual and intellectual values. We might say, "Right, he who dies with the most toys wins." Do we value dollars, gold, goodies, and the power of material wealth more than, say, church and school? Were dollar values very much greater than spiritual values in our lives. What surprised  and disturbed me was that I had not even noted that much in our lives was biased toward the material.

The more I saw us as many others do, the more the more I thought about our apparent prioritization of values, the more I felt a sort of disappointment. My earlier surprise turned a bit sad upon realizing how easily I had gone along with fellow American attitude that the buck and the stuff came before mind and spirit.

How many prominent Americans value monetary power over others more than they value the quality of their own spirit and intellect?

Who are we?

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