going from exploitation to hope

I was a local market here in South Africa the other day and the town that I am near is known for its tourist and wealthier passer bye’s due to the vibrant wine market here. I am looking at some of the local arts and crafts asking what some of the prices were and within a short bit of being there I observed that I was being manipulated and exploited as one of those wealthy passer byes even though I was with some local friends. on the surface it was observed that I would comparatively have more money than most other people that live in the nearby area, but in actuality I did not have much money to spend. there was a trend I started to notice from the sellers and that was when I asked a price it started really high and the farther away I walked the cheaper the price got. taxi drivers here are really known for doing this on a higher scale , sometimes raising the price by 3 or 4 times the normal amount for somebody they suspect to have more money. as an American I stick out like a sore thumb and with the conversion rate being 1 dollar to 10 rand it can be expected that I would have a large quantity of money on me. in basic terms I was being exploited due to the perception that I could be easily manipulated for somebody else’s personal profit.
I could not help to think how we do this in our personal relationships. we find the person with the most return and we use them for what we deem as the best attribute. this is not using each other for money, but using each other for our own personal benefit, which would then be relational exploitation. on an extreme level it is taking the humanity away from the person and on a micro level it can seem insignificant. I believe that relational exploitation is a big deal, but has been pushed aside because of the pervasiveness of it in our world. I would say it comes from the perpetuated idea that the fittest survive and so we seeks our needs which are actually wants or desires. I guess you can conclude this is selfish and greedy at the least and oppressive and degrading at the most. we go into relationships with mere strangers and dearly loved ones and we still have the motive of what am I going to get out of this. this can be something as frugal as asking a friend to hang out that you know will want to go get food instead of the friend that you know will not have any money to get food or subconsciously deciding to constantly seek to hang out with the person that will unconditionally love you because you can not receive it anywhere else. our hearts are trained to go to places where we can get things that we desire, but I would like to give a proposal of what if we did not go to places where we had a hidden motive to fulfill our own desires.
“the pursuit of blessing somebody will often turn into blessing yourself “this may have been said before, but I felt it was worth saying in my own interpretation of what I am learning in life. the explanation and reasoning behind this idea can be quite complex, but it can be acknowledged that there is a difference of the blessing of something given to you that this idea describes and the receiving of something that is described in the onset of this article. Even in the best of the moralistic, legalistic, well intentioned, spiritual people there is still exploitation. it just turns inward and then most often displays itself in a relational way. the closest people to Jesus, the most radical generous giving sacrificial man in history no matter what side of the story you are on, still had his closest friends asking what about me and am I going to get what I want. they were still using Jesus and exploiting him for his relational, spiritual, emotional, fulfillment. some of us look for our fulfillment in money, sex, careers, our children and many other things and what we are doing with these things when we make them our source of fulfillment is exploiting them.
the difference between us and Jesus is that had continually had his hands out saying here I am giving you a gift, I am here to serve you, I am here to love you. I guess you can say Jesus was constantly in pursuit of blessing people. this is what is restorative and provides hope. when I first experienced the pursuit of blessing it felt funny at first because I felt like I was receiving more than I was giving, but when our giving becomes the thing that shapes us then our vision will start to change. This is when we will be able to see love and be love.

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