Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Edges of Despair- A Response to the Report of the UN Rapporteaur on Extreme Poverty

To me, the most disturbing sentence in the report of the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty  in the US is that " the policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship."  

Current government policies promoting poverty and cruelty do not reflect political differences unless one characterizes those policies as arising out of the politics of hate.  "Conservative" and "liberal" are descriptions to be set aside.  Policies that deny not only health care but fundamentally healthy conditions are designed to punish and eliminate those whose circumstances lead them to poverty.  We are encountering the spiritually bankrupt.

My thought upon considering the deliberate actions of those who hate was how do we keep from circling the edges of despair?

I happened upon an interview that Oprah recently conducted with three celebrities on what gives them hope. While each of us must find our own route to spiritual survival, Stephen Colbert places his faith in biblical scriptures that warn against worry and urges staying in the present moment.  Jordan Peele reflects upon the restorative impact of laughter and shares that he finds hope in viewing the US as a work in progress.  And Salma Kayek Pinault finds hope in the women who are finding their voices.  She sees freedom for women and men who are open to the new Times Up conversations.

Whatever gives you hope, embrace it.  We are in a time where resistance is ever critical but without emotional and spiritual sustenance, hope cannot be sustained.

To read and listen to Oprah's interviews, click here.






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