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View Diary: Dame un poco de perspectiva (75 comments)

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  •  I have spent a fair amount of time (66+ / 0-)

    in Mexico which is not nearly as impoverished but has its share of neighborhoods conisting of 8 by 10 tin shacks which house an entire family each.

    I would agree you will see more kindness, smiles and genuine happiness in such places.

    From there our whole society looks absolutely insane.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:01:20 PM PST

    •  Me and Bobbi MaGee ~ Janis Joplin (16+ / 0-)

      "Freedom is having nothing left to lose. "

      From almost everywhere, our society looks insane.  China laughs at us.  Europe feels sorry for us, and most of the middle east hates us.

      The University of Michigan's World Values Surveys (WVS) has compiled data on the happiest countries in the world for over twenty years. Their results are considered the most authoritative by happiness researchers.

      Ranking of the World's Happiest Countries

      1. Nigeria
      2. Mexico
      3. Venezuela
      4. El Salvador
      5. Puerto Rico

      The US came in 16th.  Americans consider happiness more important to them than money, moral goodness, and even going to Heaven.

      Americans are, on average, only 69 percent happy.

      The world population is, on average, less than 65 percent happy.

      37 percent of the people on Forbes list of Wealthiest Americans are less happy than the average American.

      At any given time, one forth of Americans are mildly depressed.  

      Mildly depressed?   lol, I would have thought suicidal.    The study is interesting.  If you link over, be sure to read the data flowing down the left hand side of the page.

      What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

      by dkmich on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:47:15 AM PST

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      •  The promise of "life, liberty and the pursuit (9+ / 0-)

        of happiness" was an aspiration only. Had to be, because before the ink on the Constitution was dry, the majority of the population (women, children, natives, slaves, servants) were consigned to being owned. Ownership was declared to be more important than human rights. Ownership of things, including other people, was a sop for being deprived of human rights. Even those mentioned in the first ten amendments were not guaranteed. It's called a Bill of Rights, but what it is is an enumeration of prohibitions, which are to be honored by the agents of government, unless they have good reason (are warranted) not to.
        The U.S. is a materialistic society not because the people are fixated on accumulating material goods, but because material wealth is a sop to compensate for being deprived of liberty. If you don't want to believe that, keep in mind that the state not only reserves the right to kill people, individually or in a group (capital punishment is a euphemism par excellence), but reserves the right to send male persons off to be killed and demands that they register for the draft.
        If North Americans are fearful, they've got good cause.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:08:51 AM PST

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        •  It is no diferent anywhere (6+ / 0-)

          else. In some cases it is much worse. In Mexico the law guilty until proven innocent. The police are so corrupt people fear them with very good reason.

          Their government is just that corrupt thing in the DF that does nothing for them but cause problems and is best avoided at all costs. There is no safety net other than family and friends.

          Thankfully they do not hold us accountable for the actions of our government in their country either.

          It doesn't stop them from finding a great deal of joy in life.

          It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

          by PSWaterspirit on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:01:34 AM PST

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        •  As an explication of America vs Haiti (0+ / 0-)

          this is deeply unconvincing.  

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:47:38 AM PST

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      •  Actually it was written by Kris Kristofferson (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, Denver11, exatc

        Bobbi McGee is a girl.

        I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

        by jhecht on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:44:42 AM PST

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    •  Spent a lot of time in rural S Mexico in the 80's (7+ / 0-)

      and then went back to Oaxaca in 2008.  I was a bit surprised that rural Oaxaca seemed much less poor than two decades earlier. Southern Mexico was once nearly as poor as Guatemala, but things have definitely changed - and appear to have changed for the better, although NAFTA has also displaced a lot of Mexican farmers.  Maybe the poorest of the poor have migrated to the cities.  Guatemala, of course, still has exceptional poverty.  If one wants to fully appreciate the term structural economic violence, Guatemala is the place.  

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:55:40 AM PST

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      •  Oaxaca (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        has the valley at least has been pulled up by the zapotec craft families. When I first lived there in 1985 there were a maximum of five tourists in the city of Oaxaca that were not Mexican. We would get together with what ever batch of wandering souls was in town on Sunday night in the City zocalo, speak english, and give sightseeing advice.  

        When we returned in 1998 to visit for a month the transformation was amazing. The place was swarming with tourists from all over the world. Teotitlans rugs are now shipped worldwide as is the pottery of San Bartelo Cayhuetapec. The biggest changes I saw were in the wooden animal towns where even the town  derelict had  new paying job and his own small house afforded from his pay.

        Over the years I have had the pleasure of watching the Oaxaca Valley evolve and to see what they have done with their wealth. It seems to go into educating, the infrastructure of the town then into their personal dwellings and finally themselves. Teotitlan paid for the university education of one of its own young people through medical school so the valley could have another doctor. They have also eduated a couple of people to be school teachers. One of them teaches english to the elementry kids.

        I will be returning shortly for a wedding and a visit I look forward to dicovering what they have accomplished while I was away. The farmers do still provide for the locals as well as the restaurants. They were on their way long before NAFTA in fact that set them back greatly.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:09:10 PM PST

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