Friday, July 8, 2016

What Do We See?

A Catholic University professor writes in the Catholic Times' View from the Ark column, about something he saw on the Internet which moved him greatly. An elementary school teacher presented to his class a picture of a child bent over scavenging for food with the caption: Let us think. Followed again with the question:What is the child doing? After 5 minutes of thought--How happy is the life that I am now living?

According to the professor, the school teacher was expecting to have the children reflect on their own life and respond with gratitude. One student,however, after seeing the picture wrote: "Seeing the picture of another's misfortune and being thankful for my blessings is not what it should be. We should work together to find a solution to the problem so we  all can eat and live well."

The voice of the elementary school child moved the professor and he uses the words of the child to express his opinion on happiness. What do we see that makes our living worthwhile? What makes us happy? The child mentioned 'together' and  was not interested in a happiness that comes from a comparison with another. The professor wonders if the individual happiness is really possible without the other. What really is happiness that is not in someway related to others?

Is there a happiness that separates us from others? When we have plenty of material goods,and receive praise and are envied by others can that be a reason for true happiness in life?

In society we have many who work in jobs that are subcontracted and at a lower salary, this is besides the irregular workers. The column mentions a young person who was working in a subcontracting job who was making much less than would be the case for a regular worker and saving over three quarters of what he was making to go to college. Money comes with education, and gives us dignity.

Isn't this our culture? We accept that discrimination  comes with a lack of education and money. A person who is making about a thousand dollars a month is distressed  and society forces him to learn if he wants to be accepted. Dignity of a person comes from what he has achieved in life.  Our columnist wonders if  some of the joy many have comes from this comparison with others, who do not have what they possess.

Those who have spent their lives looking for wisdom will advise us to look beyond what we possess for an answer. We need to look inside of ourselves to see who we are as persons. What makes us tick, our inner being should be the object of our examination. Our elementary school child could do this and gave our columnist his topic.

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