Friday, June 09, 2017


I grew up in the Methodist Church. One of the drivers of the Protestant split from Catholicism was a distaste for the opulence of churches relative to the surrounding poverty of the people the church was supporting. In particular, this lavish display of wealth often came from indulgences - payment for forgiveness.  Methodism emphasised charity and support of the sick and the poor. Deep soaked in my upbringing was a distaste for Conspicuous Consumption. This was particularly relevant in Apartheid South Africa, where even today intense inequality means the rich and poor live alongside each other. The internal bickering in the church was often over whether too much was being spent on decorations. Despite no longer being religious, I still struggle to justify expense beyond what I need when comparing what I have to others. I don't believe in being a hero. Self sacrifice that isn't emotionally sustainable is pointless. Somewhere between the awful feelings of bitterness and guilt lies a uncomfortable balance. What is enough? What is doing enough?

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