Sunday, September 4, 2016

Poverty, Inc.

I flew into Haiti on July 20th, one year since my last visit and things are getting worse. I have to admit that the airport seemed to be in better shape, some of the roads were better, but the more I discovered, the more I realized what was really going on.

There have not yet been elections in Haiti - which are way overdue. The previous president finished his term and stepped down. The economy is the worst it has been since 1994. The time never changed with daylight saving time because no authority made the decision to change it. Many public hospitals were closed and the government money was pumped into the police force to keep things under control.

How can a country be constantly declining when its people have so much potential to be lively and creative? The Haitians that I know are energetic, naturally seeking to improve their situation and very hard workers. How is the country in such bad shape? I have been thirsting for answers because something is wrong and it is not just!

Then, Fr Robert Sirico, the founder of Acton Institute, gave me a copy of the documentary called Poverty, Inc., after we chatted about my recent visit to Haiti. In the near future I will share my reflections on this documentary, but first, I would like to share it with you and hear what you think about it.

Image result for free poverty inc images

The full documentary can be found on Netflix, itunes and Amazon. 
Here is the trailer:

Friday, January 8, 2016


Recently I saw the documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine. One phrase has stuck with me. Bob Belleville, the former Macintosh head of Engineering, said, "The work was intense. The commitment needed to do it was intense. I lost my wife, I lost my children." 

These past months I have been working on my thesis for my Master's in Philosophy. I am writing my thesis on human freedom. This quote of Bellville, in the midst of all my reading, thinking, talking about and writing on human freedom has led me to a conclusion: when we want something bad enough, we are willing to sacrifice anything, everything! The problem is that most of the time we don't want enough!

This 2016 what do I want? It is worth sitting down, taking a couple of minutes and reflecting on commitments for this year, before the speed of life steals what is most precious to you. As time passes, we ought to be growing and developing, not losing.

For Bellville the commitment was intense. So intense that he was willing to sacrifice everything. Is there anything worth sacrificing this 2016? Is there anything worth losing this 2016? If your commitments for this year are clear, then what you can sacrifice to achieve those commitments will also be more clear. If you don't have commitments, then you will want a lot of things, because as humans, that's part of who were are: we want what is good and everything is good in some way, but not necessarily the best for us.

This 2016 what are your commitments? Are you willing to spend more time with your wife? Are you willing to watch a little less TV and go for a walk with your children? Are you willing to drive a little out of your way to pick up a treat for your family on a regular Tuesday night? Are you willing to ace that exam? Are you willing to call that friend even though you are busy? What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your commitments? Hopefully your wife, children, family and friends will be a priority on your list of commitments and as time passes, you end up winning, not losing.