Ponderings: “The New Global Elite”

The current issue of Atlantic Monthly magazine features an article entitled, “The New Global Elite.”  It describes a growing identifiable community of what the article describes as super-rich, self-made people who are ambivalent about the rest of us—a group that is creating yet another separation in the human family.

Now let’s be clear—most of us in the Western world are already elitists.  The house I live in is better than the houses of 95% of the world.  My salary, even judged to be modest, still puts me in the category of the “wealthy” by global standards.  I have no rock in my hand as I write this blog.

But I do have a pain in my heart, wondering how many ways I choose to live my life in a manner that separates me from others.  Even using this technology to write to you each day can be a means of distancing myself from some people. And I wonder what will become of us as yet another group who has “more” will choose to do “less.”

We can never go back to the “global village” in the intimate sense of that term, but Jesus warned us that when we allow separation to exist between ourselves and others, we will soon be unable to “see” them any more, or “hear” their voices.  At the end of the age, when the final judgment comes, it is not based on preaching the gospel or casting out demons, it’s based on how well we “saw” and “heard” the human family.  In fact, we “see” and “hear” Christ (as the judgment goes) precisely in relation to how we connect to others.

Let the “new global elite” become whatever they are becoming, but let them remind us to be what we are supposed to be—followers of Christ who do not consciously separate ourselves from other people so that we can no longer “see” them or “hear” them.  Kyrie Eleison!

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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