Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Excerpt from "As the year turned", a column by Conrad de Quiros

I'm not being lazy this time, I swear, I just wanted to post this.

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"One might think that this spectacle is not unlike that of the many ordinary folk who drifted by the windows of the appliance or dress shops last Christmas and dreamt of the giant Samsung LCD or the sleek gown displayed there, imagining what joy it would be to have it, what sense of fulfillment it would bring to their lives. But it is not like that at all. There is a point at which quantity turns into quality, or dire extremity mutates into a new reality altogether. These are levels of deprivation that elevate simple desires or wishes or cravings from mere insatiable consumerist appetites into poignant, quixotic and quite impossible dreams. These are levels of naked want that elevate simple fantasies or imaginings into an obdurate demand upon the world on the strength of all that is good and decent to make them true.

"You stand indicted before such a sight, and feel even more conscience-stricken than if they had begged for food and you hadn’t any. Strangely enough, some things are more elemental than food. This wasn’t just hankering for a basketball T-shirt and pants, this was a dream of a better life. It had none of the muck of adult greed, it had all the purity of childhood wishing-upon-a-star. You have to grope beyond your pockets into your soul to find enough to give.

"It’s something to think about this year, when the predictions are that the ferocious global economic winds will howl in our shores as well, however precious little they will find little left to ravage here. The coming period of want may be a good time to turn philosophical and wonder how much we really need in life to be reasonably happy when all other people need are a shirt and pair of shorts to be transported to heaven."

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You can find the complete article here.

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