Help with equanimity


Help with equanimity

Poverty, Inc (2014 | 94 min) is a documentary directed by Michael Matheson Miller, available on demand on several digital platforms. The center of the reflection proposed by the director and scriptwriters is that there is a possibility that NGOs are part of the problem of poverty, since, ultimately, as seen in the documentary, they depend on the existence of poverty in the undeveloped countries.

With a welfare vision, these organizations have caused, in some cases, more damage with their philanthropic actions, dismantling the efforts of local producers and small businesses by introducing free products into the market. Such is the example of an egg producer in Rwanda, which began to prosper with his business just at the time when a well-intentioned American church decided to give eggs to people who, of course, hungry, accepted it. This humanitarian action broke the egg producer's business, one of the few that was beginning to prosper in the community.

It is inevitable to think, then, what role do disinterested actions play in a world as complex as ours? Is it worse to do something to remedy the suffering of humans than to sit idly by? It seems that we are in swampy, uncertain and changing terrain. What is good today, tomorrow may not be so good. Suddenly a family that depends on a business has been ruined. And in spite of it, the food, the actions of help, the support, are necessary.

That is why we have to be aware of the world in which we live and how we provide service, how we update ourselves to assist those in need not only in distant communities, but around the corner. We can not afford to make mistakes, to harm some while helping others.

Miller, the director, insists that it is good to give. A culture that gives, that supports, that helps, is a healthy culture that does not expect in return. The United States is one of the countries that donates the most to philanthropic causes, it is also one of the countries that most intervenes in the political and cultural life of less developed nations. We must be present, here and now, to understand the moment we live and thus be able to help with all our capabilities, leaving aside our own problems. Otherwise, we can make the mistake of giving too much, of hurting instead of helping, of assuming a paternalistic attitude that harms, in the long run, people who, like us, deserve the same opportunities to build their happiness in this world. .

The documentary has valuable examples in this regard. Corrigan and Shelly Clay are an American couple who wanted to adopt a Haitian baby. While they were in Haiti with the objective of carrying out the adoption process, they discovered that orphanages made mothers give their children for adoption, instead of giving orphans for adoption. Corrigan and Shelly had an idea, they created a jewelry company, a fair trade with the worker, thanks to which the employees can buy housing, food and support their families.

The multi-award-winning documentary focuses on the cases in which people who wanted to help began to think differently, modified the logic of welfare. It is not a criticism of NGOs. Nor does it speak of a global conspiracy to keep the less developed peoples poor. However, it is very timely when it comes to pointing out the neocolonial practices that some organizations replicate wherever they go. The point is to think outside the frames of reference to which we are accustomed. Participate, but in ways that do not cause more harm in the communities.

We must help in equanimity, from heart to heart, from human to human, without any kind of paternalism or false philanthropy in order to magnify our ego or hang our merits on the wall. Help because it is just for humanity, because the road to human sustainability is found in every step, built on fraternity and generosity, even with those who are opposed to us. It is a crime to help and harm; The objective of the Ivism Act is to be present to participate with all our abilities in the improvement of humanity as a species. It is an arduous road, but we have to go through it.

Continuity platform

It is always useful to identify specific lines of human qualities that we are following.
1. What moves you most about this documentary? Why is that what moves you the most?
2. If it were up to you, how would you intervene in a context of poverty and marginalization?
3. What would you like to be different?
4. How can you do that right now inside yourself?
5. And in your collective? 
6. From the perspective that everything you think should be different, without judgments, regardless of the reason you have or not. What are your judgments? It's wrong? It's OK? And from where do you have the certainty of being right?
7. What are the ways of separating from other humans involved in the problem that the documentary exposes? Who are the others? How do you rescue the human essence in them and in yourself, awakening empathy?
8. What is the way to separate yourself from your own humanity here and now, when you judge and judge the circumstances of your life?
9. How do you inspire to be the integral transformation, and from your abundance move the energy towards collective participations as equanimous as determined here and now taking your place in the universe, no more and no less?

Activism, EnglishClaudia Flores