"While the poor of the world continue knocking on the doors of the rich, the world of affluence runs the risk of no longer hearing those knocks, on account of a conscience that can no longer distinguish what is human." Pope Benedict XVI in Caritas Veritate, his new encyclical on the world economic system. (Guardian)
While I disagree with the Pope on many things, most things, this statement has a ring of truth, particularly if you change the word human to humane. This makes the statement more understandable to the rest of the world. The Pope and I already know that to be human is to be and act humanely.
Now, we have to convince the very rich that sponsoring children in Africa, adopting orphans, building fairy-tale ranches and such are not the full way of treating the rest of the world as humans. Do my beliefs mean that I'm going to give up my pleasures? NIMBY (not in my backyard).
We have more than enough, but we're not rich like Trump or Jobs or some movie stars or entertainers or jocks. Or Madoff. In fact, rich today seems to mean someone with nine figure assets or income. Wow!
Or does it mean someone with six figure assets and income? What determines richness today?
Better yet, is richness determined by monetary worth? And, if it's not, then how do we keep a conscience, enjoy our blessings (of all kinds) and remember what being human means.