Good morning folks!
Today I’m a bit doubtful about how to manage my delay: words by A. Word.A.Day. are piling up rapidly and I found out that I can hardly tackle one a day. You may not believe me when I say that it’s not that easy to find some good stuff to enrich the offer starting from the title and ending with a good final. Am I suffering from a ‘writer’s block’, perhaps? Jokes aside (I’m definitely no writer!), today the choice was tough, because last week’s selection was intriguing as much as today’s one. I’ve decided to complete last week as fast as I can and subsequently to try to catch up with the new selection. Well, last Thursday’s word is really up-to-date, so in line with the today’s climate, that I thought I did have to share it with you. It’s a modern worship, no, THE modern worship actually. Unless you live on Mars or on some Himalayan height, you cannot deny it’s the driving force that rules the world today and – let me say – that spoilt it as well!
John F. Copper & Ta-ling Lee; Coping With a Bad Global Image; University Press of America; 1997.
Italian translation: Culto del (dio) denaro
Obviously, the children of a major God are not those portrayed in the moving snapshot above, but those who worship and heap up gold, today’s world is theirs. You will surely say, please spare us your usual 2 cents on this argument, we are being bombarded by this well-worn topic every day! Nope folks, you cannot avoid it, after all might I talk about the weather in presence of such a word? I can’t, but I’ll try to be as concise as possible.
I’m from a middle class family. My family has been such since ages, not really rich but not poor, I might say quite well-off. I could afford to study translation at a private Institute, for example. Not anybody could do it, because the courses were really expensive. Notwithstanding this, I was educated to give money the right value, i.e. a means, not a scope. Though not having experienced World War II directly, my parents valued labour as the foundations of our world, the right way to build a better world and the only way to reach a wealthy lifestyle – after all, they were children of the sixties, they experienced the Students movement of 1968 and its vision of a world that might be everybody’s world. This naive picture got literally upset over the past three decades: wealth is no longer a product of labour, money’s no longer a means. Should my father come back to life today (he died of brain cancer in 1981 at the age of 38, unfortunately), he would probably feel a perfect stranger upon this Earth. The Western dream of a ‘distributed’ wealth vanished, replaced by the bitter truth that today richness is just for few.
My father was a University professor in Mechanics, one of the youngest and most brilliant ones in the University Federico II in Naples (not to brag, but it’s true) in the seventies. He had worked since he was very young, commuting five days a week to Isola del Liri (more than 100 km away from Naples) to help his parents while studying mechanical engineering. He knew the value of money and the importance of hard work, so when he became a University professor and began writing course books for his students, he decided to make his small revolution: he did not charge any fee on the books he wrote in an effort to make education affordable for anyone. He believed that the world should give anyone an occasion. Today’s world doesn’t give anyone an occasion, it does not distribute wealth among its inhabitants but condenses richness in the hands of few, richness being generated not by labour, but speculation and even exploitation. If he could come back upon this Earth, he would probably feel sad for all of us, rich and poor: without a vision, a dream, an ambition, our lives are not worth living.
See you soon, folks …
Your passionate (Italian) Translator
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY by Anu Garg (this time I’m quoting it being so perfectly fit for the occasion)
The man who dies rich dies disgraced. -Andrew Carnegie, industrialist (1835-1919)
P.S.: R.I.P., my beloved daddy!