I've been finishing my BFA through Emily Carr and every Friday is an art history class. Yesterday we were discussing contemporary Chinese art and there were some truly awful comments comparing labour costs in China compared to Canada, or the US or Germany. There was this willful ignorance and sense of white entitlement pervading the room. Stupid, offensive remarks about how people living in China can survive making a pittance a day and I felt outrage. How the hell did this person know anything about how well (or if) a person can live on less than $1 per day. I was so angry and appalled I was speechless, I don't know either but I will not presume to know, and would not assume that anyone, regardless of where they live, feels remotely affluent with such meagre earnings. There seemed to be this underlying blame the victim, blame the poor person attitude. Argh.
I have so much wealth living in Canada. Attending an art class, having the time to spend to make art - this is such luxury, such good fortune. And I wish everyone who enjoys such richness would acknowledge it and also see and do what they can to share this affluence with others who - through no fault of their own - live in poverty, who scrabble and are faced with agonizing choices everyday to keep their families alive. And for those who live where there is no work, there exists the child sex market overflowing with demand from white western men. Egregious - this is beyond war crime, it is crimes against humanity, where are the trials at the Hague? The world needs to hunt down and prosecute these animals, pedophiles, to the fullest extent of law. Where are the consequences?
There is so much hypocrisy in our world wrt how we treat our children, we have robbed them of a healthy planet, a gargantuan global market relies solely on the sexual exploitation of children, sick sick men with disposable income choose to spend their wealth hurting rather than helping women and children.
I know that just being alive I have the capacity for great love and great cruelty. Everyday I make the choice to try to be the most compassionate person I can be - and sadly I am not successful everyday, but this is the best goal I can think of, and the best way I can use my wealth, my good fortune in all its guises.
I can guess I need to make sure I am doing every thing I can to sustain places of compassion in our world