Friday, 27 May 2011

Understanding and Acting On

Isaiah 29:9-24 talks about being given a vision but not knowing what to do with it. Sawyer says of verse 10(“The Lord has made you drowsy, ready to fall into a deep sleep. The prophets should be the eyes of the people, but God has blindfolded them.”), “they are too drunk or stupid to know what to do when they receive a vision” (p 242). It isn't that they do not see the vision. They either do not understand it (i.e. blind to its message or unable to visualise its message) or they fo not know how to respond to it or communicate it.

The dilemma that I face it that I believe I see the vision or hear the message but I seem trapped by the very system that I see as diseased and needing reform. I struggle to communicate with those that share some of my beliefs, possibly because I am not sure how to break free of the constraints of a system whose assumptions I loath.

I question the assumption behind fair trade as one of saying there is a fair price for goods and services that doesn't consider the needs to the people. The focus is on the monetary aspect rather than the needs of the people.

This focus on balancing income and expenditure or supply and demand ignores the social cost and basic ability to survive. My thoughts are that what a person receives should have little to do with the value of the product to the receiver. We focus on price rather than the need of the individual or community. We want to reward what is produced to encourage on going production or activity.

I am wondering whether I have missed the point. This is phrased in terms of whether we have paid a fair price but I am wondering whether we ask this question because we are concerned about being paid a fair price for our own labours. I have written before about giving of our produce and skills without expecting return as in a 'fair' return, an agreed price. Rather through the exchange of skills and talents, our needs are meet. I see what you need that I can supply and I meet that need. You see what I need that you can supply and you meet that need. We don't attempt to balance needs, services, or the value of the exchange. We offer our services and resources to satisfy the needs of the community. Keeping account isn't part of the process. Accountability is rather measured by inequality that is occurring in society.

Inequality is a sign that someone or group is holding back on the resources and services that they have to offer to others.


Sawyer, J. F. A. (1984). Isaiah (Vol. 1). Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press.

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