There is a kind of stillness in the air, as if one did not want to concentrate on the big issues that affect us. So much talk about war is leaving people empty of hope and unable to cope with the big picture, yet unable to fully live their daily lives.

Everyone has continued to go about their work, studies and shopping as if it really matters. Nevertheless, in making plans there is like a thought in the back of your mind that tells you, “Does it really matter?”

There is a deeper pleasure in the simpler things of life. After September 11, 2001, many people started to look at life through different eyes. I have heard of thousands that decided to change jobs or move closer to relatives, others even decided to stop working for private enterprises and now dedicate themselves to non-profit related activities. Many of the people who have taken those steps are middle class US residents. There is no such alternative for the poor anywhere on earth.

Even though September 11 meant the beginning of a new era for many in the western world, for the millions who live in underdeveloped countries it only meant that now they will have to pay for more US arms and training going to their countries to defend their land, a land that has been in the hands of an elite supported by the US interests.

For the dispossessed, there isn’t much to lose. Since they have close to nothing to begin with, they are the ones who flee in an attempt to preserve life, which is their only treasure.

The world is being visited by thousands of refugees everywhere. Now we have globalized displacement. The displaced people that have managed to reach United States live in such conditions that there is no time to ponder about the war and its effects. Whenever something goes wrong in the country, they are the first ones to suffer the consequences. They are the first ones to lose their jobs, their homes, etc. For most immigrants the daily struggle for survival takes most of their energy.

I feel bad for the people in Iraq. They have suffered an economic blockeage for ten years as the Cubans have for forty years. The have suffered the continuous bombing for ten years, and the effect of the chemicals used during the Gulf War.

According to the western world, Iraq is suffering because of Sadam Hussein. I ask, “Can evil come from just one man? How many have participated in the current luck of the Iraqi people? Are we in any way responsible?” I received a mailing this week, prompting people to pray so that Sadam Hussein would accept exile. Does that mean that he is the only one to blame for the current situation? I love the way poor people have of embracing life while accepting the burden of the world’s sins. I will pray for all of the parties involved to find their sins, as we must find our own. I will pray for strength to change our ways and I hope that the poor on earth will lend us a bit of their light and their life to go on.