I just stumbled on a television show on the Travel Channel called “Meet the Natives” and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It chronicles the journey of 5 men from a tribe in a remote Pacific Island called Tanna, as they journey to the US and visit Montana, New York City & later in the season Illinois, California & Washington D.C.
During their visit to a cattle farm in Montana, they are amazed by the vast open spaces and the size of the herds and machinery used to cultivate crops. Coming from a community with no electricity and little exposure to the outside world, it is fascinating & enlightening to see our various cultural practices through their eyes. Toward the end of their visit, their Cheif remarks, “People here have everything, but it’s a tragedy to have so many cattle, machines, and fat wallets – only to die like everyone else”. How true is that?
I’m currently watching the episode where they travel to New York City and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, experience the subway for the first time, see the site where the World Trade Center used to be and visit Wall Street. They are rightfully puzzled at how much material wealth many people have and yet how little that wealth is shared. Upon observing a homeless man, one native man remarks, “I can see that there are many builldlings in New York City, so how is it that people sleep on the streets? That man is an old man and it is clear that nobody loves him.. In our culture we do not use money but no one is homeless or hungry”.
It is extremely thought provoking and if you have an opportunity, I urge you to check it out. Here’s a quick “preview” video