“Why do I feel safer in Addis Ababa, rather than in Chicago?”
By: Alex Goslar
People’s values and subsequent judgments are largely influenced by the socio-economic environment they live in. While this observation may sound pedestrian the implications are far reaching.
A people’s character is being formed by the way they live. So much so that if a person from Ethiopia chooses to live in a foreign country for a longer period of time their views are being transformed to the point where they no longer share the same values of their cousins and relatives. It does not mean that they have lost the emotional ties to their home country however their changed views alienates their “own people”. What seemed a perfectly acceptable behavior and ritual in their home country may now be contrary to what they have come to believe to be right.
This contradicting position is widening as the economic gap between affluent and developing economies grows. In broad strokes: Since I have been visiting African countries over the past 10 years, I feel that the growing economic gap between the haves and the have not’s has a major impact on shifting personal values. With growing, wealth people tend to be more protective, more egocentric and less courteous. Hence an increase in National violence from within.
In a less developed economic environment, people are more hopeful and tolerant. They are more likely to believe in intangibles like a religion, they are more humble and courteous towards others.
Curiously reaching for a better economic status seems to be a common desire of all people no matter where they live. This drive away from ethereal values and towards economic power leads inevitably to a more egocentric and decadent society. If we want to get a better understanding of what is happening around us, we need to take a “Selfie” of our soul.
Your comments please. Best regards, Alex.