Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Meditation

When I feed the poor, I’m called a saint.
When I ask why the poor have no food, I’m called a communist.

Dom Helder Camara

Archbishop of Recife and Olinda, Brazil


lime said...

ah yes, if you do the good work it assuages the guilt of those who may be contributing to the problem. if you ask why there is a problem in the first place it makes them VERY uncomfortable.

Land of shimp said...

Yeah, we've reached a pretty pass when being concerned that too many people don't have much, trying to make sure they can see doctors in time to prevent dreadful illness, and suggesting that those of us that have more should do our part for those with less...and that's considered a character flaw. Something worthy of being called names in the most withering of tones.

Communist. Socialist. Progressive.. Yup, we've turned a word that's root is Progress into a slur. Nifty trick, that.

Good post, good reminder, Cricket.

And my verification word is biastaen.

Jeanne Estridge said...

Because everyone's willing to let someone else do the work, less willing to think maybe they should do something.

Ananda girl said...

Great quote, Cricket. It is good food for meditation. It often baffles me why some folk claim to be Christian and then forget that Christ told us to love each other as we love ourselves... and taking care of them when they cannot is part of that directive.

Suldog said...

I will argue, if you will, as the devil's advocate.

The difference, in a broad sense, is in giving of one's own bounty or in suggesting the forcing of others to give of theirs. The first is an act of selflessness, while the second is coercion. And while I agree that it would be the best of all possible worlds if we all were inclined to give voluntarily, there are some among us who do not wish to do so. And I don't believe it is my station in life to force those folks into compliance with my wishes, no matter how noble I might consider my wishes to be.

Now, that only addresses why someone might be tagged as a communist or socialist. Whether the good man you quote asked for legislation to be enacted to reach such an end, I don't know. I would think that the asking for such would be necessary for the name-calling to be accurate.