Jonathan Foust

November 12, 2008

Where Does Suffering End?

Filed under: Observations — jonathanfoust @ 8:51 am

river-blindness1

I was at the World Bank yesterday on my way to teach a class on meditation when I stopped to take in this statue.

I remember this image clearly.  I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa and every day I would hear the chanting of men and women led into town by small children.  

When you looked close, you could see the emptiness of their eyes from river blindness – from a black fly bite, worms destroy tissue, particularly the eyes.

The grief they carried as families and villages never ceased to grip my heart.

Men, women and children offered all they could offer in such an impoverished country.  They would chant and sing, hoping for a handout.

 I was stunned by the contrast of a background of polished glass and chrome versus the mud and dust of Niger.

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