Thursday, July 24, 2014
First world problems and my humanity
I am leaving to go on the boat tomorrow for a few days. It won't matter that the forecast calls for more rain. If it rains, I will hunker down and read. If the rain stops, I'll go for a long walk on the beach. I don't think that I have had many bad days out on the water.
We are entering the dog days of summer now with humidity through the roof. Mushrooms are sprouting up in the yard. And by tomorrow, the mile long dirt road leading to the tarmac will be nearly impassable. All my problems are definitely first world ones. Sometimes I feel awkward even writing about my life when there are so many that are suffering terribly all around the world and, shamefully, in this country that has so much.
I have friends whose worst problem is that their driveway at their second home didn't get paved on the day that they wanted it to be. I know others who speak of the children coming into the U.S. from Central America as vermin and lice infested "illegals". How is this possible? When did the insensitivity to others and their plight happen? Have we become so entitled that we don't see the ridiculousness in our complaints?
I know at one time, we were all innocent and trusting. Sometime in this lifetime, people that I thought I knew became filled with hatred, bigotry and disgust towards others. And yet, many have animals that they profess to love. When did people lose their compassion for other human beings? Even if I find my own species to be difficult, pugilistic and destructive, I would not think of another person as vermin or not worthy of living.
We all have a story. And our lives are shaped by so many things. I can't begin to know what it feels like to wake up hungry each day, to not have enough water, to try to avoid being captured and killed, or bombed without warning. As I go about my day, I will do my best to remember that I am one of the fortunate ones who hasn't lost my ability to help others or to care about what happens to people whose daily struggles are unimaginable. Thankfully, I still have my humanity.
“We're so self-important. So arrogant. Everybody's going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save the snails. And the supreme arrogance? Save the planet! Are these people kidding? Save the planet? We don't even know how to take care of ourselves; we haven't learned how to care for one another. We're gonna save the fuckin' planet? . . . And, by the way, there's nothing wrong with the planet in the first place. The planet is fine. The people are fucked! Compared with the people, the planet is doin' great. It's been here over four billion years . . . The planet isn't goin' anywhere, folks. We are! We're goin' away. Pack your shit, we're goin' away. And we won't leave much of a trace. Thank God for that. Nothing left. Maybe a little Styrofoam. The planet will be here, and we'll be gone. Another failed mutation; another closed-end biological mistake.” ― George Carlin
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” ― Dalai Lama XIV