My stay in Tanzania has brought many “c” words to mind: complexity, contradiction, confusion, and (surprisingly) clarity. Basically, the more I see and learn, the more I realize how interwoven everything is, and how, even within a single community, the situation is far too intricate for my mind to fully comprehend. But I’ve given myself over to my confusion. I’ve yielded to the immensity of the globe, and found some sort of serenity in my inability to grasp it all. I am humbled.
Although we like to discuss and criticize mystical systems like “the economy” or “capitalism,” I’ve realized that these systems merely consist of people. Beneath the categories and the labels, there are simply people who are scratching out a living on this Earth, people deciding on rules and regulations and policies, people evolving and languishing and loving beneath the same sun and sky.
A certain quote from the poem “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann often comes to mind: “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”