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Hilding Lindquist

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Member Since: Jan, 2005

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I am poor
by Hilding Lindquist   
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, August 19, 2005
Posted: Friday, August 19, 2005

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I am poor

I am poor. I am also Scandinavian. Being poor is not a shameful state of affairs for Swedes.

And my being poor doesn't correlate well with my lifestyle. It is the label attached to a person who has—in my case—a minus net equity. I owe more than I own. And who receives less than a specific amount each month—which varies from state to state depending on the cost-of-living in that state (I believe).

My lifestyle has more to do with simplicity and patience, of stopping to smell the flowers and absorb the ambience of the world around me.

I live in a suburb a little over half-an-hour away from Manhattan on the NJ Transit Midtown Direct commuter line ... which gives me access to one of the great metropolitan centers of the world for less than $5 roundtrip. I am mobile within my world, a world that offers more interesting things that I can do than I can get around to doing.

Plus, I share the use of a computer with high-speed internet access in the household where I live.

I am fortunate to be part of a culture that values the worth and dignity of each individual member based on a belief in the intrinsic value of the individual human life as a transcendental end in itself rather than the exchange value of the assets he or she owns, or social position, or ...

And what do I mean by " intrinsic value of the individual human life as a transcendental end in itself"?

How can an "end in itself" be "transendental"? How can we transcend or go beyond an "end in itself"? Isn't an "end in itself" an end without any beyond?

This is where the concept of "an idea" comes into play. (Which is VERY Platonian, but that should not bother us, just giving credit where credit is due.) It is that "the idea" of "a chair" is something other than a specific chair and applies to all chairs ... and in that sense goes beyond a specific chair—transcends it—even though the specific chair is an end in itself.

Thus if I believe in the intrinsic value (intrinsic: belonging to the essential nature or constitution of a thing; Merriam-Webster) of the individual human life as a trancendental end in itself, I am saying that each individual person has worth and dignity that requires respect and consideration, and that that "idea" applies to all human beings.

(Note: It is difficult for me to not immediately extend the concept to all forms of life, but that is a subject for another essay.)

Therefore, my placement on the poor to rich spectrum of ownership (or any other positioning relative to others) does not affect the intrinsic value of my individual human life.

Is this just whistling in the dark? Making a silk purse out of a pig's ear?

As one blind man, it is only with the help of others that I can put together the whole image of the elephant. I can only relate as honestly as I can the description of what I am hanging onto, and encourage others to do likewise.

Web Site: NC Swede

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Reviewed by Cynthia Borris 8/21/2005

Isn't it great to be the poor-man-rich-man! Less stress, more experiences, tremendous appreciation of life.

Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 8/20/2005
i am poor too, but God gets me through my struggles. Ecxellent write, Hilding!

(((HUGS))) ane love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
Reviewed by Sandy Knauer 8/19/2005
~I owe more than I own~ By this definition, most American's are very poor. Of course, most don't recognize it in themselves, because they think what they've charged is theirs and look down at the 'poor' people who only have what they've paid for - strange people we are.
~my placement on the poor to rich spectrum of ownership (or any other positioning relative to others) does not affect the intrinsic value of my individual human life~ - this is my philosophy, also. I'm much 'richer' than most people who own more than I do, because I'm happy with or without things.

Nice article. Well written and meaningful.
Reviewed by Christine Boyce 8/19/2005
"The Elephant in the Dark Room"--you've been reading Rumi, I'd guess. :-)

Being poor is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Being rich on the other hand--while the very poor are starving--is certainly something to be ashamed of. New Mercedes--or stop 1,000 children from starving.
Reviewed by Mary Lynn Plaisance 8/19/2005
DEEP thought! I love the write. You're richer than you can ever imagine. But, you know that already.

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