A poem by Jang Jin-sung, former court poet for North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
Exhausted, in the midst of the market she stood A deaf-mute the mother She gazed down at the ground, just ignoringThe curses the people all threw As they glaredAt the mother who soldHer motherhood, her own flesh and blood
Her tears dried upThough her daughter, upon learningHer mother would perish of a deadly diseaseHad buried her face in the mother’s long skirtAnd bellowed, and criedBut the mother stood stillAnd her lips only quivered
Unable she was to give thanks to the soldierWho slipped a hundred won into her handAs he uttered“It is your motherhood,And not the daughter I’m buyingShe took the money, and ran
A mother she was,And the 100 won she had takenShe spent on a loaf of wheat bread Toward her daughter she ranAs fast as she couldAnd pressed the bread on the child’s lips“Forgive me, my child”In the midst of the market she stoodAnd she wailed.
“For 100 won, my daughter I sell”
Heavy medallion of sorrow
A cardboard around her neck she had hung
Next to her young daughter
Exhausted, in the midst of the market she stood
The way to end poverty is to export Capitalism? – USA today article from the opinion section on why Haiti continues to struggle economically and historically why it hasn’t developed. Suggesting that simple capitalistic ideas of development and entrepreneurship can win the day. I give this opinion a solid maybe and maybe not. I tend to believe in free economics, that greed is one of the best motivators for development and that you can’t legislate development, rathat it happens best somewhat organically. Microeconomics are largely influenced by Macroeconomics and vice versa. It’s a living organism of trickle down effects and grassroots people responding to opportunity. In theory, Capitalism creates that opportunity for people to respond to and work to thrive. However, history tells us that there are always power seats that can control opportunity, that it is never truly free. The other thing is that Capitalism is rooted in the American story of fighting for what you have, creating anew. Our stories of the Mayflower, the pilgrims and the patriots of the Revolutionary War breed the framework from the day we are born for these ideas of development to take root. I wonder how successful capitalism can be without these stories of old that define a people and give construct to their worldview. An uber-capitalist I assume would say that the desire to develop and progress is innate in human nature and not strictly defined to a people’s cultural history. I think that is a bit idealistic, all of us have been shaped by the Story we live in, its where many of our ideas come from. Can we change? surely, but it isn’t that easy nor that quick. Capitalism as an idea was grown out of the post-Reformation revolutions of Europe, it didn’t happen overnight. Those experiences shaped the idea of the seeds of capitalism that eventually made its way on the Mayflower. Ideas are living things, they ebb and flow with culture. To me, the bigger question is not can we export and project a capitalistic structure on Haiti? The bigger question is,does Haiti have the stories that the idea of capitalism can take root in? If not, its a failed experiment from the get-go. The idea that will work must be Haiti-centric, not Ameri-centric. When oh when will we (American foreign policy) learn that lesson? peace, Marshall
Like many of you, I was immediately struck by the horror of the images coming from Haiti post-earthquake. There were conflicting reports of orphans and being sent on planes to the US just looking for families to take them in. Being the my wife and I are at the end of our foster care/adoption licensing process with Ohio, I wondered if we were supposed to be getting somehow more involved. So I did some fact finding and was able to get on a conference call to Washington D.C. with Dept. of Homeland Security and US Immigration Services for updates with shareholders in the US. They were triaging all their work and updating on the process of “humanitarian parole”. Basically, any child in Haiti that was already in some sort of an adoption process, it could be expedited immediately. That left the question of new adoption processes. For now, that is somewhat of a closed issue. Why? 1) in the chaos it’s hard to know who is an orphan and who has family looking for them 2) the problem of human trafficking. With all the open hearts for the children, there are also those with evil intent and the infrastructure is not there right now to make that discenment 3) perhaps the best hope for Haiti is kids growing up in Haiti in orphanages where they get education and guidance and in turn lead their country in the future (that is if the basics are met of saftey and nourishment) On the conference call this was all brought up and in the end, one of the women on the panel alluded to the over 500,000 US children in Foster Care and adoption eligible here and if people had a heart for it, they should get involved right here in our own backyard. And I concur wholeheartedly. My wife and I have sensed a calling towards this work since we first got married and now is the time we can put our hands and feet in as well because of our kids ages. In the theme of St. Brigid, of reclkess generosity and hospitality, the children of our culture are hungry and destitute here. Do you have an empty room? they need a safe place. Do you have a heart for others? they need care. Do you have extra food? they are hungry. Is your life godly? they’ve been abused. Do you care about the Kingdom? may it come on earth as it is in heaven.
26-27Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. (James 1 The Message) I want to raise awareness, not guilt. But if you can help, please do. peace, Chris