For the third time in my life, I have become co-owner of a bank. This seems like a contradiction for a person who embraces voluntary poverty, strives for a simple life, aspires to the ideal of non-possession. Well, I call it a necessity on the way.
The meaning this step has for me is the reason why I feel led to share this unspectacular event in a person’s life with you. I am very critical of the consumerist-capitalist paradigm and dominant economic system. I am deeply suspicious about the integrity of the banking system. These banking institutions embody much of what I see is missing the mark in the global discourse of affluence.
As we were gathered in silence this Sunday, it was easy to listen to and to hear the raindrops outside.”
The reference to rain shows that I wrote this account of my thoughts back in October when I was worshipping with the Victoria Friends Meeting – here in the Yukon it is currently -35 degrees and no rain in sight!
I was contemplating on the various ways they follow their journey in their natural cycle. Some of them will fall on the earth, the ground that is receptive to soak them up, to store it for the plants, and to release it in the cycle later. Others will run off and pool in a depression, being available for animals to quench their thirst. Yet others will fall on a roof, go down the gutter, onto the concrete, run off the roadways, into the sewer system and the storm drains. Some of them will need to go through a water treatment plant before they are released back into the wild, allowing them to join the natural cycle again.
The following article has just been published this week in The Canadian Friend, 108(5) p.13 , a publication of the Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. You can find the current and many back issues online: The Canadian Friend.
Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders in Chad
by Othmar F. Arnold
I have been asked: “How did this service work change me? What impact did the experiences have on my life?”
I must acknowledge that I have not been working as a nurse since that time. I am not the same person as before the mission. A major shift began in my life several years ago. I was called back to my roots, to become radical again, and there were other factors enabling a mid-life reorientation
My children were growing up and becoming more and more independent. Though the high-paying nursing work in Nunavut enabled me to liberate myself from financial obligations accumulated over the years, I was becoming less and less convinced by the direction nursing was going.