Through a Jungian Lens

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Misplaced Values

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poverty1It’s hard to imagine one family having a net worth of $400,000,000,000.00 – that’ four hundred billion dollars. Yet, there are two families who share this honour – the Rothschild and the Rockefeller familes. It’s hard to imagine a single person having a net worth of $75,000,000,000.00 such as Bill Gates or the various family members of the Walmart empire (Waltons) who each hover around thirty-five billion dollars in net worth, or the Koch brothers who are worth more than forty billion dollars each. It is a relatively easy task to find out who and how many are considered to be wealthy, obscenely wealthy. Yet, likely there are families and individuals who wealthy buy hiding behind the public radar. Wealth is measured in dollars and probably more importantly in terms of influence on the well-being of the planet.

Who is the poorest? If we take money and control of economies as a measure of wealth, then the number of people who would be tied for dead last – zero dollars of worth or influence – numbers in the millions. But numbers lie as I have learned. I personally know individuals who have a net worth of less than zero on paper but are the richest people in terms of what they have, cash flow, economic impact and social position. On paper they can prove that they qualify for welfare, but at the same time they travel the world first class.

For those who have no home, no means of transportation other than their feet, no work or hope of getting work, poor health and only wearing clothing that is discarded and eating food that is considered garbage by the average person – this is a real description of poverty and the numbers alive at this moment in the world who must live this way while an infinitesimally minute sector of the human population spend more for one meal or one bottle of wine than the poorest will ever see in their whole lifetime.

I have seen poor people, real poor people in Vietnam, Cambodia, India, and elsewhere like the girl pictured above; people who scrounge through garbage in order to survive. There is nothing about this picture that is right or just. Yet, as a human race, we laud the richest and treat the poorest as less than human. Imagine you are born into one of the hundred richest families in the world. Instantly, without any effort or merit you have become one of the elite of the human race. Imagine you are born into one of the hundreds of thousands of poorest families in the world. Regardless of effort or merit, there is no way of crawling up out of that poverty. The poor want to escape poverty, the wealthy want to be wealthier. Who will most likely get their wishes granted?

Those of us somewhere in the middle have been conned into believing that the rich deserve to be rich and that the poor deserve to be poor. We have been hoodwinked to look below us while the little bits of wealth that we have has already begun to shift upwards to those who get richer by the moment because of tax laws and the design of the world’s economies. Without our complicit agreement to maintain the status quo, the whole thing falls apart. Yet, our dreams of wealth push us to accumulate more rather than to invest in a belief that all humans are deserving.

Just saying . . .

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Written by Robert G. Longpré

March 25, 2014 at 9:57 am

Posted in Jungian Psychology

One Response

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  1. Well said, Robert!

    Robert Caldwell

    March 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm


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