Beyond the Clouds by Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, S.A.C. - Page 43

and cultures. Some Provinces are big, some are small. Some have many members, some have very few. Some are economically well off, some are developing entities which need financial support until they are able to manage on their own. Yet I say again, we need each other. No entity, country, or member is self-sufficient. No culture is perfect. There is something beautiful everywhere. The Masai people in Tanzania and Kenya are not travelling around in huge and costly cars. They have a long stick, very clean clothes, and move around with the cattle. Yet they show a tremendous sense of community and humanity. On the contrary, I have come across persons, at times even some confreres, who think they have a superior culture or language simply because they come from a particular nation with a solid economy or infrastructure. It is sheer ignorance and an illusion. I would say here are the real yardsticks to evaluate cultures and development: humanity, compassion, service, and kindness. At times, the richer we are materially, the poorer we become in showing humanity. For example, it has been my experience in the so-called “third- world countries,” that we can always find food and a bed at whatever hour of the night we reach. Whereas in the more sophisticated cultures and countries, it is often unthinkable! How many times I have found my Provincial Rectors and confreres waiting for me at the airport at 2 am and 4 am to receive me? They could have also advised me to take a taxi and reach home. It is something very natural in one culture, while in some other places, it can look like the loss of precious hours of sleep. Yet this is what makes us human beings, very different from mechanized robots. I have participated in the funeral Mass of some of our confreres here in Rome. There was the 30 minute Mass, and the obligatory prayers before sending off the mortal remains in the undertaker’s car. No tears shed! Can this be the way of saying goodbye to a member who gave his whole life for the Society and the Church? May be, I feel it because of my cultural background. I have found 43