I'm led once again, to contemplate the wealth of my people. But not in the terms tha tmost of you will consider wealth. I'm not talking about money, or retirement accounts, or even about flashy shiny stuff.
I'm talking about simple things. Having doors that shut behind you while you're taking a crap. Having a shelf to put things on, a stool to sit on. Living close to nature sucks. Being rich enough to have an enclave of modern convenience close to wilderness is pretty cool, but actually living in a state of nature is ass.
While doing research for a paper in grad school, I ran across accounts of how people in the Pacific Islands harvesting coconuts, do everything with almost no tools other than a machete. No ladders, no wheelbarrows, no crts, not to mention no motor vehicles. When they dry the coconut meat, they build tiny fires of coconut husk and try to keep the copra in the smoke without even metal wire racks.
Sometimes that's how I feel over here. We took a jaunt through Kabul the other day. On the side of the streets, goats browsing thought piles of shit (literally) and trash, munching away. Little old men and women hunched over with bundles on their back- not even rich enough to afford the labour-saving convenience of the wheel, much less mechanical advantage.
We got to a site with some ANA guys, and they're living ni a building with mines literally 6-10 feet away from the wall. They just avoid them. They know roughly where they are. Puppies were wandering through the area where the guys warned us off. Nobody works at clearing them. They just live with it. inshallah
And there's no reason for it. Really, there is no excuse for this kind of poverty. It's an attitude, an acceptance, an ignorance that there is something better. Americans wouldn't leave things this way. We'd figure out a way to make things better, even if it were through pure brutal labour. This is undeniable- even if you hate us, you know it's true. But somebody will be angry that I made the comparison. They won't be able to say exactly why they're angry, but they will be. Because it's racist somehow.
The wealth of my people is our culture. The things we have are a side effect. I'm going to build some shelves tomorrow.