Pissing Doll Factories

I was leaning over a shovel in bright morning sunshine under a deep blue sky while gazing over the winter wonderland that materialized from yesterday’s snow storm.

I am reminded of the privilege I experience by the simple luck of being born in Canada, and not somewhere else.
I own a snowblower i used to cleaned up the snow around my lobster traps.

Moritz Thomsen fascinates me. A brilliant writer. He wrote of the changes that factory mechanization and development brought to Brazil.

“…. how willingly people who considered it a privilege to eat had swarmed into the city’s to overrun the slums and to seek out factory jobs. God’s face now takes on the form of a Time clock, and a hundred million people will now dedicate themselves to the production of a mountain of products all skilfully designed to wear out in 3 years – cars, radios, TV sets, and tape decks, outboard motors and pocket  calculators, hoola-hoops and little plastic dolls that when you squeeze them make wee-wee in their plastic panties. How incredible that we have come so far that we can stamp out a pissing doll from a nickel’s worth of plastic and never wonder if the girl at the machine who stamped them out for eight hours a day year after year is living a life that gives her satisfaction.
“And what did you do with your life, my child?” God asks at the gates of paradise. “I stamped out pissing dolls, Lord.”
“And are you happy with the life you’ve had, my pet?”
“I ate, Lord.””
(The Saddest Pleasure: A Journey On Two Rivers. A Memoir by Moritz Thomsen)

I count myself lucky to survive from working on the sea and serving in Africa.  Living in a city with a 8-5 job, and little change in routine would suck the life out of my very being. What about an office job? I’d go cubical crazy.

Can life be more than just “work to pay bills” ? Can life be anything more than this for the subsistence farming families I work with in Africa? Their joy seems to run deeper than this.  Life’s got to have a larger purpose than paying bills or daily food? Where’s the joy really coming from?

Paul of Tarsus wrote:

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:12-13)

I have to admit that if I had to live by stamping out plastic crap toys or DVD covers for twelve hours a day, it would be difficult to live.

If I have time and energy to go hiking, boating, skiing, or on vacation: Well, I would be luckier than 80% of the worlds population. 80% of humans have to put up with working at a “pissing doll” kind of job, just to get enough money to eat, and are glad for it.

Is self-actualization a privilege of a very rich comfortable few?

Today I pray for the millions of people stuck in trinket and “pissing doll” type factories and jobs. They are stuck there because I buy this junk. Why is it so cheap? Because for some reason they, no I,  think they are not worth a living human wage.

My consumerism and toys, cost much human degradation.

I lean over my shovel with a heavy heart, for a long, long time. Realizing that it too probably came from a “pissing doll” factory as well. It was cheap…. human cheap.

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