Friday, January 14, 2011

Living Poor by Moritz Thomsen, Page 281

For three years I had been in more or less the same position as Eloy, but on a much larger scale, and for three years I had been obsessed with trying to define the realities of my position in the town. What is love? If it is the answering of one's needs, is it as legitimate if those needs-grounded in hunger, disease, and desperation-are centered on your strongest personality trait, the money you carry in your pocket?

This is one of the Peace Corps traps. It can be absolutely shattering to the ego to realize that it isn't your own inherent lovableness that has all the people in town wild with passion for you, but rather the one hundred dollars a month that makes you by far the riches and most powerful man in town, the new patron whether you like it or not, and the only one who can in some measure solve the problems of their despair. Or even with a phrase, "No, I haven't got any," condemn their fevered children to death.

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