Has any generation been better at avoiding limits? Today when we face real adversity we can always find music, books, TV, or movies to help avoid the sense of that we have limits. Headache tablets, coffee, and energy drinks can keep us going when our body screams “enough!” We can e-mail everyone we know at once rather than spend face-to-face time with them. Mobile phones enable those we know to speak to us whenever they want. Dishwashers can take our dirty dishes and clean them in no time, giving us more family time – but family time is at an all-time low, time we used to spend washing and drying dishes together. All these “advances” should make our lives easier and enable us to do more. Yet, far too many of us have our worlds closing in on us. Like Gulliver in Lilliput, we tower over our tiny world, but don’t see that we are being tied up. Our world has shrunk, and our self-importance is out of proportion to who we really are. Have we missed the chance to understand our miniature role in the history of the universe under the “advance” of technology?
If we are to make a difference among the poor, we have to look at the barriers each of us faces in making our contribution. While new technologies can make a sense of humility and self-awareness difficult, the underlying causes of our relentless drive for them are an important issue.
Make Poverty Personal: Taking the Poor as Seriously as the Bible Does by Ash Barker (Baker Books, 2009); pp. 160-161