Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Small Thought that Nags at Me Every Day

Okay, so in the last 24 hours, the top 10 countries represented by readers of my blog are: U.S., Canada, Germany, India, China, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Guatemala, Poland, Vietnam. Countries with lesser page views today include Iraq, Russia, South Africa, Camaroon, Brazil, Peru, Egypt, Australia and several others. The question is if people from all those places can get a kick out of reading something as simple as my freaking blog, why is it we can't get along?  I know it's not a serious question, but I sort of wish it were. Left to their own devices, people want the same things: Food, water, health, shelter, enough work, some enjoyment and the safety of sleep without fear. Yeah, some want better shoes or more cars, but people basically want the same things. So why can't we just get along? Why can't we just make certain that everyone has those basics? I know we could if enough of us stood together and made it happen. How to do that? Well, I'm stumped there. But if we got everyone those basics, it would go a long way toward smoothing things out everywhere.
    But then the political writer in me rears his head and shouts: The problem is that some people will do anything to keep other people from having those basics. That's the part we're going to have to work on if we really want to get anywhere. And that part is rooted in deep-seated fear. Fear that the other guy shouldn't get enough to get by because then he/she'd want to take your basics, so you got to keep them down. Fear of other colors so deep that some people don't recognize it's really just a fear of their own inadequacy. Fear of other cultures, fear that your own base desires are the same as everyone else's base desires and giving them a hand up would wind up cutting yourself down. Or things like that. Those fears need to be addressed and overcome somehow if we want to bring peace to this planet.
   And when we think of the 1 percent who want it all, well, they really only want it all because they are afraid of joining the rest of us. They're afraid they'll run out and no one will help them when they do and so they've got to accumulate so much that they can't run out--which is impossible, of course, so they wind up serving only their greed, the symptom of their fear.
   Yeah, I'm rattling on. But this thing irks me daily. It's why I write. There may not be much of a chance of getting 7 billion people on the same page, but if I/we don't try, there is no chance.
   It all reminds me of the biblical story of Jesus and the Loaves and Fishes. It's a new testament thing--and if I've written this before, forgive me but it fits. The Loaves and fishes thing was the story of Jesus of Nazareth somehow getting hundreds, perhaps thousands of people to a hillside to listen to him talk. There might have been others on the bill but we don't know that from the way the story was written.
   The event was evidently not well planned: No vendors, no foot, no available water, and it seems that most people hadn't packed lunch. Or so it seemed.
   People got restive and Jesus of Nazareth got hold of a couple of loaves of bread and a couple of fried or salted fish. Then he began passing them out and miracle of miracles, says the story, he made a miracle and multiplied those couple of loaves of bread and fish and kept passing them out without ever running out until everyone at the event had enough to eat and were once again willing to listen to him speak.
   I never went with that story, even as a young catholic altar boy. Seemed to me that if you had super powers--I mean, if you were god with a capital G and could simply multiply food at your discretion, you should not have let that crowd--who were there to listen to you talk--get hungry in the first place. And if you had that power, well, then you were just using super power and it wasn't a miracle at all.
   My take on the story was always this, and I'm not saying I'm right, it's just my take. My take is that when people got hungry, Jesus of Nazareth talked to the people and said "You know, I'll bet that some of you brought food and some of you brought a lot of food and water and you're afraid to take it out because then you'll have to share." I'm not saying he used those words, it's just an idea, okay?
   And I'll bet he reasoned with everyone that if they all took out all the food and water they'd brought with them, well, there would be enough to go around. And I'll bet those people did that and sure enough, it got passed around and everybody got to eat.
   Now if he did that, well, that's a miracle! Getting people to share ain't easy. But what I'm getting at is that if we could get all 7 billion people to share what they have, no one would be hungry, no one would sleep in fear. And that's a wild dream but one worth working toward and fighting for in my book.

No comments: