Poverty and happiness

Here’s a post that asks those concerned with global poverty to stop saying “They are poor, but they are happy.”

The post reminded me of something in the book by Gustavo Gutiérrez that I’ve been reading this week:

I’m talking about the real poverty in which vast majorities of human beings live, and not about the idealized poverty that we sometimes excogitate for our own pastoral, theological, and spiritual purposes.

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One thought on “Poverty and happiness

  1. I’m reminded of the time we spent Dharavi in Mumbai, India. One million people live there in one square mile. I remember finding it very hard to talk about this on our return from India – because it was hard to talk about it without seeming obscene. I was very much struck by the joy I found in the midst of the misery – laughing children, gracious women, gentle men – none of that diminished the poverty and the real suffering going on (the pastor of the Methodist Church in Dharavi spent quite a bit of time talking with us about the ways in which families were taken advantage of by systems of abuse within Dharavi itself – among many others). Gustavo Gutierrez’s thoughts have come out of his work as a parish priest in some of the most low income places in Latin America. I don’t know if you’ve seen the new book about conversations between he and Paul Farmer – but I found it a rich resource. (Gutierrez I understand is in residence at Notre Dame these days – maybe you could go talk with him about it!)..

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