Recently a I read and article that attempted to answer the following question, “What are some of the things in this world you have a hard time accepting?”. The author went on to talk about vast difference of wealth in the world, how we as Americans spend more on our daily coffee than others make in a whole day and how we have become apathetic to the violence happening locally and in the world around us. Below is some thoughts on these topics.
My thoughts on the “inequalities of the world” may not be so acceptable to some. Mainly, I think it’s been this way forever and it is the nature of being human. The issue here isn’t inequalities, it’s in how we treat each other and our “opinions” of how others should live that are different than “us”. I look back at the times where I’ve had judgement of others who were different than me, and there are two events that stand out with regard to someone I felt was “needing more” or had less than I and I considered them “wanting”. The first I remember, is a story about a lady who came to me for Reconnective Healing session, she was on my table and stank of urine and alcohol and was by all appearances a “crazy cat lady” with an alcohol problem. I felt sorry for her as she looked like a tortured soul laying there. Then I witnessed her soul rise up from her body and greet me with love and happiness. This was a happy soul with a chosen life and did not need pity or for someone to feel sorry for her. The other experience is when I went to Peru and spent 8 days with a family in the Amazon Rainforest. These people had “nothing” by our standards, but they were the happiest people I’ve ever met. These were humbling experiences and made a profound affect on my perspective of others, and how I was being judgmental.
I think the real issue is when people want to “help” but the cost for the help is telling these people how they should live and what to believe. These people have chosen to be on this planet and they have chosen to procreate. Sometimes they want us to feel sorry for them, yet they don’t take responsibility to stop their own population growth. This isn’t a judgment on morals or religion, but rather economics and what makes sense from the standpoint of food, shelter, clothing and the supply of them all. It’s fine to help, but it’s not okay to place expectations on how others will receive that help or what they will do with the resources they receive. I also understand that some people of the world have oppressive governments, who try to live within their means and work hard. For these people, I think the world owes them some kind of respite or chance for growth and freedom.
I have no issues wanting to help others, but I do have a strong suspicion of “organizations” out there asking for money to help the poor. First, I really don’t know who to trust and who really has the moral fortitude to be an organization I want to stand behind. What is the money really going to provide? What kind of overhead do they have? Who’s salary will I be paying when I send my check in? I’ve heard so many stories about organizations like the Salvation Army who have been around for decades that really don’t reflect my own personal beliefs on relationships, religion and helping ALL people regardless of their sexual orientation, religion, creed, etc. Yet they stand at the entrances of local shops and groceries ringing their bells and asking to support these viewpoints while not really spelling out their own prejudices. I prefer to associate with organizations like Feed My Starving Children who have low overhead and I can put time into helping their cause. The other preference I have is to help people locally. I’ve never understood why we send money elsewhere when we have homeless, freezing people right here in our own neighborhoods. I think helping those abroad is important for sure, but let’s not forget our own. This is really the future in sustainable populations – each area supporting its own first, then the extra can go to other areas who may be struggling because of natural or otherwise disasters. It is up to each person and each society to be responsible for its own actions first and to figure out how to adjust to make themselves thrive.
As for the topic of apathy and violence, this is something I was just talking with my son about this past holiday. Everything we are inundated with in the media and to an extent society, numbs us to think what we are seeing is acceptable. We as “the people” tend to be outraged for a few minutes and then find something shiny off in the distance and promptly forget the tragedies of only moments before. I believe this sort of “memory loss” is directly related to what we see happening on TV and the movies. We really don’t worry about how it ends because doesn’t everything end up nice and neat within the 60 or 120 minute time allotment? No one seems to really feel the effects of tragedy unless it happens to them directly. I even see things that happen within a family be forgotten within a short amount of time and people go right on living life. They see the same injustices happening right out their own front door without raising much of any kind of emotion in them. The only way we are going to change apathy is to teach our children by examples of loving each other. The children will see how we accept things and what we don’t. We need to show them how connecting to that person at the bus stop or the lone child at the play ground or the elderly man who is shuffling down the sidewalk is an important action to take. We need to show them how to stop, listen with intent, rapture and respect. Show them how to slow down and take the time that each of us deserve to be recognized and respected. These acts will then spread and grow with the generation and eventually take over the “culture” of the world.
I just posted something to the effect that the news media doesn’t want you to know that there is much more good in the world than bad. That the isolated “events” of tragedy should be dealt with for what they are, but the response to these events should be from a place of active love and responsibility and not reactive fear. Each event of violence, natural disasters, etc are horrible, but we lose connection with them because we don’t allow them to affect us directly in any way. This is what the media, video games, movies have taught us, that we see what’s happening around us as it’s in a virtual world and isn’t real. So when we see it on the news or in newspapers, it isn’t real there either.