Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mo Money Mo Problems

This is a topic I've been wanting to write about for a long time now, but again haven't had the time to. Studying different cultures around the world, Americans/Europeans tend to give native people a "barbaric" title - something that transcends the term "civilized."
A story that struck me was that of the !Kung people in SW Africa. They are a tribal culture who had unlimited resources to land which provided yearly water, food, and shelter. Having vast access to resources, the !Kung people shared everything they had with one another. There was no such thing as a family having nothing, because everyone was so giving in order to help each other rise as a culture. Something so amazing was that it was a goal to acquire as much goods as you can in order to give the most things away. There was no such thing as selfishness.
When the white man came to "civilize" the !Kung people, they took away half of their land, which needed to support about 2x the amount of people. Now the !Kung had to work for money, something they didn't know anything about before. Though education was available for the children to have a more opportunistic future, their nakedness became shameful, and the !Kung were clothed, and made to work for money. The idea of sharing with one another, came at the cost of families being selfish with what they had. All this arguing over possessions tore the !Kung people away from the connection they all shared.
Which brings me to the question, when did money become so important into surviving everyday. I know we have come a long way from trading or bartering, but we depend so much on money to live our lives. We don't take into account the hard work many people go through without enough compensation. We know the more education you get, the better money you'll be paid in the professional world. But in order to get an education, you need to pay for it. Nothing in the world is free, which is an unfortunate thing. Possessions seems to define us nowadays - we value someone's worth by what house they live in, or the car they drive. But what about the value of a person's heart, shouldn't that go a longer way? When did money become so central in our lives, that we need it to accomplish so many of our dreams?

You just do you, imma do me


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