This For That

By Larry H. Spruill

Transcending Guilt – Embracing Commitment

There is nothing noble about poverty.
Americans admire the cultural, moral
and spiritual wealth of Africans.
We scourge ourselves with guilt for
indulgence in materialism.
We acknowledge our disadvantaged
spirits and souls.

We pretend as if we do not understand
why Africans want what we have so much of.

We say things like,
“In many ways the African is better off than we are.
They have little but they have joy and peace.”

These monologues make us feel better as we
board planes back to our homes, cars, jobs
and favorite Starbucks.
We came. We saw. We gave dollars.
In our hearts,
We know we received more than we gave.
If we look in the mirror,
we ask ourselves
Is there something else I can do?

This kind of guilt is ours. The exotic fantasy is over. The people are our people. We cannot leave them nor the animals and environment to the whims of Euro tourists. We have more than leisure time dollars. We have zionist obligations to bring more than our discretionary coins. We have developmental contributions to make. Don’t worry. We do not have to trade our opulence for the magic of kente and the sacred drum and dance. Besides such bartering would be an unthinkable
quid pro quo.