We reclined, replete after a long leisurely lunch, children played outside and our teenagers hid inside and schemed. A introspective silence descended as we, comfortable enough in our friendship not to have a white noise of words buzz around meaninglessly. Each counting his or her blessings, surveying the bucolic scene outside and the tingled by the warm sea breeze lazily sweeping from the estuary the conversation turned to the injustices of the third world.
It always strikes me when, after a what is sometimes the briefest moment of pure enjoyment, where one feels really great to be alive, some of us have this guilt that creeps into the space where the pleasure sat barely long enough to leave a warm impression.
Its like this inability to embrace our fortunes without the caboose of anxiety and guilt following close behind. This mood loomed over our post lunch spread.
Around the table, a tale of injustice and hardship from the less fortunate peoples around the globe, each more severe than the last until we were all mired in a gloomy rut, the inevitable terminus on this straight conversational track.
Scratching the surface of the issue that we rely on impoverished and exploited people to keep us living the way we are accustomed to is a great way to paint yourself into a morally ambiguous corner.
The harsh fact is that dominant societies have always taken advantage of others less prosperous. Does this make it right? Of course not. Surely trying to buy ethically is a start? Yes it is.
However don't kid yourselves that by purchasing a goat for a village is going to insulate you from further notions of uncomfortableness when the overwhelming nature of this problem niggles at your conscience.
Its a particularly middle class malady, all this hand wringing between sips of Chardy in my opinion. Yes its an insidious and gargantuan problem but it deserves to be more front and centre not just a way to prove ones empathy-cred after a good feed at the tough.