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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Gambling with misery?

As the events in Japan dominate world news, I am reminded of a conversation I once had with a friend. Dave, a trader in the Toronto Stock Exchange, once confided that one of the more distasteful aspects of his job was that all human events – natural disasters, wars, uprisings, etc. – were distilled as fuel for speculation. He wondered how long he could stomach it.
Recently I watched something on David Suzuki during which he referred to the ‘market’ as a new mythology – not unlike the contrary deities that our ancestors appeased with sacrifices. It made perfect sense to me. The ‘markets’ have become a religious cult without logic and, like the gods and demons of the past; have come to dominate our lives.
Is it a measure of our humanity that we consider the plight of others through the narrow lens of economic well-being as interpreted by modern-day druids and shamans?
But I take heart in that throughout our history, we have abandoned beliefs when the stood between us and evolution. I think it is time to consign the market-cult to the scrapheap. It is time to evolve. It is time to place our humanity above self-destructive greed.
Our humanity is flawed by greed and selfishness but it is also where we draw compassion, empathy and consideration. It is our choice.