23 November 2010

Feed Me, House Me, Clothe Me

from Proverbs One

"Wisdom crieth aloud in the street, she uttereth her voice in the broad places; she calleth at the head of the noisy streets, and the entrances of the gates in the city, she uttereth her words:  How long, ye thoughtless, will ye love thoughtlessness?  How long will scorners delight them in scorning, and fools hate knowledge?"

This teaching came to mind when I opened the paper this morning to read the news that certain Wall Street boys and girls have their "wallets out" and are engaging in their fun and games.  Look at this grotesquery:
"Real estate agents say Wall Street executives have already begun lining up rentals in the Hamptons for next summer.  Dolly Lenz of Prudential Douglas Elliman said the bidding this year was “hotter and heavier” than previous years. 'There is a passion now in the market I haven’t seen in a while,' she said.  She said her clients, almost exclusively from Wall Street, were afraid to lose out. Just recently, Ms. Lenz said, she had three people bidding more than $400,000 for a summer rental in Southampton."
 I still can't get out of my mind the growing gap between rich and poor in our country and the outrageous statistic that nearly 30% of the wealth in the United States is in the hands of 1% of the population.

In some places in the country, the pursuit of the idea and the aspirations of the soul are coming together to do interesting things, like this story I read about UW researchers looking at high levels of diabetes on Menominee Indian Reservations and teaching healthy eating and sustainable agriculture--ironic on Thanksgiving Weekend, no?

But tonight when I walk Nathan, my dog, who is more well fed and housed than thousands of humans in this city, I will see men sleeping on park benches around Grand Army Plaza, bracing themselves against the autumn chill, giving a kind of thanks (for what, I wonder) and I hope to hear wisdom crying.

But that wisdom crying in the street will be more like a scream:  "Feed me!  House me!  Clothe me!"

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