Lift Up Your Eyes

People keep asking me why I’m not horrified by a future of trillions of ems living at near subsistence wages. I’ve explained that “poor folks do smile“, that poor lives usually have plenty of joy and satisfaction, even if less than in rich lives. Most lives in poor societies are well worth living. But for many, such abstract words ring hollow – what they may need is to really see such lives for themselves.¬† I haven’t seen it yet, but the new movie Lift Up seems promising for this purpose:

The old man wanted them to find joy, even in the sadness that accompanies death. … An 82-minute documentary called “Lift Up,” had its debut at the Haitian Embassy in Washington last month. Jean and Muse hope that, in its depiction of Haitians rejoicing despite the devastation dealt to their nation and their lives, the film evokes the spirit of their grandfather’s request. …

The brothers hope the film will introduce U.S. viewers to another side of Haiti, one that goes beyond the poverty, violence and suffering so often depicted in mass media. Growing up in Port-au-Prince, they saw the dark side of humanity but also reveled in warm households filled with extended family, days spent playing outside with packs of friends and a rich tradition of passing stories from one generation to the next. …

Over five days, the filmmakers captured scene after scene of children playing and people smiling as they remembered lost loved ones. “I didn’t see any of the negative things I had always heard about,” Knowlton said. “I only saw people coming together.” (more)

Added 8p: The world’s five happiest nations are: Nigeria, Mexico, Venezuela, El Savador, Puerto Rico. Far more people the world over, even in poor nations, call themselves¬†‘Very happy’ or ‘Quite happy’ than ‘Not very happy’ or ‘Not at all happy’.

2. Mexico
3. Venezuela
4. El Salvador
5. Puerto R
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