“It’s one of the rarest diamonds in the world”, I overheard a sales person say enthusiastically to a young woman. “It’s pink and it’s very rare!”. Her boyfriend was sticking his chest out and only too anxious to buy. I had to hold myself back from asking: “Is it a blood diamond?” As you can guess, I was in one of those moods.
I had just finished recording a video begging for food and money to feed the thousands of people we help at my Foundation. Just the night before I had received a WhatsApp from my friend in Africa. She left a secure job to go and work with the poorest of the poor. She had sent me photos of the conditions there. Little kids were living with their families on rubbish tips with bits of wood and cardboard for homes. I’d seen just the same sort of thing in Cambodia.
Creating envy at soirées for the well-to-do
Today a rich girl in Australia will be getting a pink diamond ring while her less fortunate sisters in the world go hungry.
It never ceases to amaze me how the world can be so unfair. The money spent on a pink diamond could do so much good. It could achieve so much more than generating envy at well-heeled soirées.
The philosopher Peter Singer once calculated that world poverty could be eliminated by imposing a ridiculously low extra tax on the wealthiest people on the planet; so little they wouldn’t even notice it.
Yet it doesn’t happen. I wonder why? The wealthy feel entitled to minimise their tax while poverty-stricken kids live on rubbish tips.