Do you have a roof over your head? Whether it is rented or owned, do you have four walls around you that house your belongings and allow you to sleep safely at night? Do you have food in your fridge and cupboard, clothes in your closet and shoes on your feet? No matter how tight your budget is, do you have any money left after buying food and paying bills every month, for things like a coffee, or ice cream, perhaps a movie or new video game?
You are among the wealthiest (and luckiest) human beings on the planet.
Now I know that your house may not be decorated the way your friends house is. Perhaps your furniture isn’t the cool “top of the line” trendy pieces that pronounce to the world that you have “arrived” in terms of the ability to purchase (or leverage on debt) a lifestyle that appears enviable from the outside in. The materialism in North America sickens me. If you have it and you are happy, then I am happy for you. If you don’t have it, and you are still happy, then I I am happy for you also. If you have it, and put others down for not having it, or make them feel less for not having it… then consider yourself downgraded in my opinion spiritually, ethically and morally.
I have friends and colleagues around the world. One of the best gifts I ever gave myself was joining chat communities in the early 1990’s. It exposed me to new people from every corner of the world on mIRC and then Yahoo communities. Forums where I shared with other writers around the world. I was hungry to know what life was like for them, what mattered to them and to know people and new cultures from the safety of my computer monitor. The human experience fascinates me. People both scare and fascinate me. I still prefer to be behind the screen than dealing with people face-to-face, and that’s how I am wired. I can fake an extrovert in a crowded room like no one’s business. These days I am happier letting Kevin be the extrovert so I can do what I love doing… observing. Processing.
You know, in the 1950’s a car accident on television or the image of crashed cars would have been upsetting to viewers. People would rally to help families who lost their homes; donate clothes, money or bring over food to help families impacted by disaster or misfortune.
I’ve taken (and excel) at micro and macroeconomics. While the world is trying to deny that this economy, this adjusted valuation and increasing issue with debt is ‘temporary’ (it’s not) and the perceived widening gap between rich and poor, this image …. how do you feel about this image?
Or this one?
How about this one?
Every time I turn on the news or read it online, I hear about people talking about money. The cost of bringing in refugees. The administrative nightmare of processing refugees (because surely most of them must be terrorists or criminals). It took a dead baby on a beach to even elicit a modest amount of concern and compassion. A graphic, dead body… created a response. A fleeting one albeit, because the news is back to reporting on the “economic crises” of the refugees.
They are human beings.
Forgive us God because we DO know what we do each time we place politics and money above compassion. And I find I know too much and understand too much sometimes, and grieve too much to watch the television or read the news. Lately, I’ve made a practice to do less of it and more of just talking to God conversationally the way I do. And I ask him to forgive us … because we know exactly what we are doing when we put finances above feelings, and cash before people.
Human life matters less if the individual has no affluence. And charity is for show, because if it actually “costs” us financially, we aren’t doing it. After all, in North America we have skyscrapers to build and new stadiums, we have to upgrade our homes, our cars, our clothes and get plastic surgery and collagen injections to live forever young in a life devoid of compassion and awareness.
They are just lines on a map you know. How lucky we are to have been born on the right side of those lines, where life does not hang in the balance on a weekly basis because of violence, religion, politics, famine or climate change. And it is luck. What would you do to save your family? I’d jump into an ocean too and try or die trying to save my family. These people still believe in the innate goodness of developed nations and the compassion of the citizens of those nations to help.
Bless them. I am not so sure there are humans left on this planet anymore. I make an effort every day to find someone doing something kind… to prove to myself that there is still good. I never pray for ignorance. I pray for global enlightenment. This planet is home and lines on a map don’t come before protection, care and concern for everything that lives on this small, tiny little place in the universe.
If earth is home, everyone is family.