Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pope, Economy and Spirituality

Pope Benedict made a very important speech during his recent visit to Spain. Yahoo via Associated Press reported that:
As he arrived, Benedict reached out to all young people, saying he understood the desperation many felt because of today's economic uncertainties.

"The economy doesn't function with market self-regulation, but needs an ethical rationale to work for mankind," he told reporters traveling aboard the papal plane. "Man must be at the center of the economy, and the economy cannot be measured only by maximization of profit but rather according to the common good."

As manifested in the recent bulletin train crash in China, development for development's sake is a dead end.  In the end, we must recognize that all the development and economic growth should geared at improving the living standard of people collectively, while protect the environment and other species who are increasingly at our mercy. 

The increasing profits of corporations and the very few venture capitalists and fund managers, etc., if completely dissociated from the common good of the society, then something is definitely wrong.

This, unfortunately is happening right here, in the United States of America.

Growing up in the completely secular China, I have few appreciations of religion and even spirituality.

However, I start to appreciate some elements in these activities and thinking.

A completely secular society, such as China, can easily fall into the trap of materialism and the only god they should acknowledge, unfortunately is wealth.  People there strive to enrich themselves but in materials only, and the betterment of themselves in spirit, intellect, character, in not scorned upon, at least are ignored. 

US is a religious country.  However, the brand of Christianity here is quite self-centered and not very charitable.  It actually provides the rational for human kinds to exploit our environment recklessly for the profits of very few.

Instead of being a good steward of the earth, a member of community, we are morphing into a nation of cutthroats. 

How I long for the time people truly valued the learning and knowledge and strove to be good, as embodied by the music by Bach, paintings by Botticelli, or sculptures by Michelangelo.

I do concede that I viewed those period through the lens of distance with glossed over the unpleasantness of those era, which could be just as corrupt as ours; however, it was a time people do believe in the importance of the betterment of their souls.  We might not believe in souls, but we should try to improve ourselves, not just our accounting books.

No comments:

Post a Comment