Moving to a new city and new political developments have made my life a lovely chaos where I haven’t had the time to sit and write. We won major legislation that ends one of our state’s policies that criminalize poor people. The rise of the occupy movements have been enthralling me as much as they follow troublingly predictable patterns of racial exclusion and white privilege. I hope to post a few major pieces by November—my politicization and its connection to my evolving racial awareness; metta practice as the hard knock school of healing; and the necessity for community care versus self care.
In the meantime, I offer you this interview that transfixed me when I heard it on the radio because what he was saying was a truth more people need to hear. Again, the theme isn’t new to this space. It is Amy Goodman on Democracy Now interviewing a Chilean economist who studied poverty. The interview goes all over the place, but what really moved me was in the beginning when they focused on what he “learned” about poverty. Particularly, this revelation:
“And you learn extraordinary things. The first thing you learn, that people who want to work in order to overcome poverty and don’t know, is that in poverty there is an enormous creativity. You cannot be an idiot if you want to survive. Every minute, you have to be thinking, what next? What do I know? What trick can I do here? What’s this and that, that, that, that? And so, your creativity is constant. In addition, I mean, that it’s combined, you know, with networks of cooperation, mutual aid, you know, and all sort of extraordinary things which you’ll no longer find in our dominant society, which is individualistic, greedy, egoistical, etc. It’s just the opposite of what you find there. And it’s sometimes so shocking that you may find people much happier in poverty than what you would find, you know, in your own environment” – Manfred Max-Neef
You can watch the full video and/or read the transcript here.