I am constantly amused and intrigued by American’s wealth, and their fear of poverty. In fact, very few Americans know poverty, nor will they, no matter how foolish they are with their resources. But many people I have met in other countries that are poor display the greatest amount of generosity and hospitality. So why?
I think it is another product of fear (not to get too Donnie Darko or anything). We are afraid we won’t have enough money for next month’s car payment, next year’s mortgage payments, retirement. Which is funny: the car is fancier than you need, the house is bigger than you need, and how many people die every year and leave their adult children a sizable inheritance? (A: all those who are afraid of running out of retirement money.)
We are afraid to be generous in the present moment because we are afraid of our own future. We are afraid of wanting ourselves, so we are powerless to give to those who are wanting now.
The wealthiest, most secure nation in the world lives in total fear of poverty and insecurity.
No wonder we can’t be hospitable. We are eating ourselves alive.
Lazyweb: Anyone have a sound clip or transcript of Marilyn Manson’s interview in Bowling for Columbine when he describes the American media as trained to keep us in fear so we consume more? He nailed it on the head with that one comment. It’s not included in the video clip on the BFC website.