Materialism vs Charity


Spent the day volunteering in a gift shop for a local museum.    A customer bought a Chuhilly glass vase – $5000.00.    This was the same week that the 8.5 earthquake hit Japan and there are thousands homeless, teachers all over California and other states received their pink slips notifying them they may not have a job next term.

Somehow the sharp division in income between those who can buy works of art for $5000.00 and those who are homeless and without secure jobs doesn’t seem to be congruent.     I feel guilty and yet cannot help those who have nothing.     I pay my bills, I am frugal and careful about expenditures and never buy anything without thought as to whether or not it is needed.     I satisfy myself  by saying that the purchase of a work of art keeps the artist and all those down the line involved in that art employed.  And then I remember that for some art the amounts they sell for approach insanity.  My brain goes into overload and I have only confusion, no answers.  

I listened to Naomi Klien in an interview the other day.  Her solution was redistribution of income from north to south (world wide).   Will that happen in my lifetime? Doubtful, unless there is a major rebellion and at least in the part of the USA where I live people are way too comfortable to rebel.    

And so we continue on.   I recycle my trash, buy as much as I can at the thrift stores (the flea market today), give a small donation to the homeless man on the street, send a small amount to my favorite charities and hope someone wiser than I will come up with a solution for a world that is kinder and fair.   

    

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