Friday, July 17, 2009

Dorothy Day:

I felt even at fifteen, that God meant man to be happy, that He meant to provide him with what he needed to maintain life in order to be happy, and that we didn not need to have quite so much destitution and misery as I saw all around and read of in the daily press. -From The Long Lonliness

A friend was just remarking to me the other day what a relevation it was to him to realize that God made the earth for him (or us) to satisfy our needs so we could be happy. You may say "Sure, sure I know that"-but think about it. Do you?

Oremus pro invicem!


TS said...

A thought-provoking quote & question!

My first thought was: it all depends. There are places on earth that are pretty inhospitable. Depends on where you're at.

My second thought was that destitution and misery was the lot of man until he discovered a few elementary things like fire and the wheel.

I'll dig up a long quote from Andrew Solomon and see what you think. (I'll email it to you.)

Jim Curley said...

I think the context of the quote is that the goods of the earth (not just nature) are for all of mankind, a God-given gift-not for just a priveleged few. That the goods of the earth come from God and not Walmart or Belk.

Haven't read the quote ... am heading over there now.

TS said...

I see...I tend to equate "goods of the earth" with nature.

Perhaps there's a model in that just as we need to cooperate with God in the supernatural sphere in order to make progress, we need to do the same in the earthly sphere. God does not rain down (say) hogs, for example, but He does provide them in such a way that - when combined with God-given human ingenuity and hard work(i.e. via hunting and cooking)- produce tasty food.

But on the larger point of all the needless human misery, well, that is just so true. The lack of basic needs met in the poorer parts of the world just cry to Heaven especially given U.S. affluence.

The health care issue is one that is especially on my mind lately. It just feels so wrong that the poor have less access to prescription drugs.

Anonymous said...

Actually, most basic prescription drugs are highly affordable, even for the very poor. It's actually the folks who make between 185% and 200% of the poverty line that have a rough time with health care and prescriptions. Usually having some kind of nominal health insurance, they're not poor enough to qualify for any government programs or even some charities, such as free medicine programs (Like Commun-i-care and the like), and they're not wealthy enough to get by with having to pay for their own insurance and prescriptions. It's a tough situation. If you have serious problems that require regular visits to the doc, then the co-pays add up quickly. I speak from personal experience, btw. :) If you are very poor (125% and below), there are all sorts of free clinics, free prescription drugs, Medicaid, etc. you can access.

Jim Curley said...

Although, I would add that if you are very poor (125%) or below, your access to good doctors and the attention a doctor-especially a specialist-gives you is subpar.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that is true, again, speaking from personal experience. I don't know why they stress the point that there is a dearth of doctors--we should be focusing on more doctors and nurses. Also, it is hard specifically for poor adults. Children, at least in SC, have pretty good access to specialists, again, speaking from personal experience, at least for now. When I regained full-time employment and had both BC/BS and Medicaid, it was much easier to get into see specialists. If I had had just Medicaid, it would have taken 3 months to see a specialist versus 2 weeks. This is why so many people go to the ER who are on Medicaid--it is the only quick way to get serious care. That, and contrary to opinion, they are trying to find work and can't afford to go to the doctor during the day for those needs. Obviously, there are other reasons, but those are usually the ones that get the attention (air conditioning, access to cable TV, illegal drug use, etc.)