PHILOSOPHER William James said we have grown afraid to be poor.
“We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition.’’
And English author John Berger noted that the poverty of our age was unlike that of any other.
“It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied but written off as trash.’’
Poverty is not only about lack of money.
Dennis Bakke, author of Joy At Work, said the Bible often talked about we are created to work happily.
“But that got lost with the Industrial Revolution, which turned workers into machines,’’ he said.
“When managers talk about people as human resources or assets that’s a mistake that doesn’t square with biblical teaching. That implies that we can use people and throw them away when they’re used up.’’
Consumerism has become a modern theology. And what gets easily lost in all this is the message of social justice.