There’s much more to life than just materialism


(re: “’Hill Schools’ shouldn’t be isolated from community,” Oct. 8)

My first reaction after reading Evan Casper-Futterman’s recent Point of View was to send my comments as a letter to the editor. However, after several re-reads and considerable thought, I asked the editor if I could write a Point of View piece myself offering alternative views.

He agreed, and I hope you find the views offered here an alternative worth considering.

As a matter of definition, skin color does not have any intellectual or cultural characteristics, but environmental history or ethnicity does. I will not refer to Black, brown and white, but rather African, Asian and European, and their national subdivisions. I wonder what color Casper-Futterman calls Polynesians, East Asians and Native Americans?

Lastly, I will refer to Europeans, Canadians and Americans collectively as “Western.”

The author called for the dismantling of the political and economic foundations of white supremacy, and called for systems of education and governance that were democratic and patterned after the teachings of Mann, Adler and Dewey.

What color were these men? They were all Westerners.

The view that the Western mind knows best and the rest of the world should comply serves as a major catalyst for resentment against Western governance and culture. It evidences intellectual imperialism.

Most of the non-Western world looks upon feminism, socialism, communism, capitalism and democracy as different flavors of the same swill flowing through the troughs of Western materialism.

The commonality of indigenous people throughout the world have societies based on spiritual awareness, gender understanding and family focus.

Every society outside of Europe was and is based on awareness of something more than the limitations of physical surroundings and thought. Worship of the unseen is inherent in the majority of humankind.

Gender is not a social construct, but a metaphysical truth governing the operation of the universe. It accounts for all movement and activity. Gender ignorance leads to societal collapse. Always.

Family served as the focal point of societal activity and learning throughout the world since the beginnings of history. An African proverb states that “the ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.” Confucius said that “the strength of a nation depends on the integrity of the family.”

Nations are families in macrocosm.

Spiritual awareness, gender understanding and family focus are requisites for happy, healthy and harmonious societies. These requisites do not exist in Western society, and we are paying a price for it.

The Western penchant for matters material and its constant reference to wealth, prosperity, poverty, gross domestic product, economic disparity or parity, interest rates, retirement plans, bonuses, etc., reflect the West’s inability to function outside of the confines of materialistic thought.

These interests are examples of the gross materialistic orientation of the Western mind and its inability to focus on the unseen. It cannot grasp the meanings of “the poor shall always be with you,” “the meek shall inherit the Earth,” and “my kingdom is not of this world.”

The Western mind confuses wealth with abundance. Having enough of the material world to fulfill one’s needs is abundance. The Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Africans and Australian Aborigines lived abundantly. All were fed and cared for.

The West focuses on wealth, which necessitates poverty. It strives to satisfy greed rather than fulfill need. It measures societal progress in terms of material acquisition rather than spiritual attainment or moral conduct.

The American Indian chief Sitting Bull said in an address to his people, “The white man’s desire for things is like a disease.” It is a disease that has encompassed the entire Western culture. The primary activity of Western society consists of making things.

Men have become jackasses on the treadmill of production to increase their ability to make things. Women have asked for parity and they have joined the jackasses as she-asses on the treadmill.

Men have become impotent, religious influence has waned, and the family has disintegrated. Morality has degenerated and ethics have disappeared. Government and large financial interests control society.

The suicide rate among girls and women have reached new highs. The No. 1 illness of Western women is debilitating depression. One woman in four in her 30s and 40s take anti-depressants. If animals exhibited these issues, they would be put on the endangered species list. But women have been told they are liberated.

The family structure is rapidly disappearing as the number of marriages decline and the number of divorces increase. Fewer and fewer children can open the door to their homes and hear mom in the kitchen. They don’t have a father to sit at the dinner table with, or to share ideas with, or to learn values from.

Children are raised in preschool, in school and after-school environments. Home becomes a place to eat and sleep with even the eating part gradually disappearing. Children migrate to gangs to receive full attention lacking in the home.

The Western world is collapsing and cannot be fixed because it is built on the false foundation of materialism.

To survive this collapse, we must return to the requisites for a happy, harmonious and healthful society, which consists of spiritual awareness, gender understanding, and family focus.

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George Silos,