Wednesday, September 14, 2011

on the ground

The U.S. poverty rate is reportedly pushing one in six -- 46 million of the estimated 312 total population. The 15.1 percent is the highest since 1983. Worse than the grinding, factual horror that this can represent for the people enduring what no one is willing to take responsibility for is the loss of national integrity. What country that loves to claim the high moral ground can write off with political indecision the needs of 15% of its population?

On the political stage, Republican presidential candidates were taken to task today by The Washington Post for their warped and uninformed positions on Afghanistan -- a country where U.S. soldiers have been fighting and being maimed and dying for 10 years with no end in sight. The Republicans are frequently the ones who love the American flag and the muscular waving thereof. Not only is there oil and gas in them thar hills, there are also strategically placed military bases to build in furtherance of the American cause. Wars and bases cost money. And Lord how the money rolls in for the companies bankrolling Republicans and their muscular postures. We love our children, but if a few of the less-well-to-do ones have to die in support of the grand old (Republican) flag, well it's worth the price. They're not my children. And of course it's not just Republicans who deserve the credit....

This stuff and other stuff like it is palpable. It's not just some airy-fairy theory. Judas Iscariot was said to have sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and while I wouldn't suggest the United States was any Jesus Christ (though some Republicans might), it's interesting to see inflation take its toll and some once-firm aspirations and ideals sold out for cuff links and a consolidation of self-anointing power.

Ah well ... the mistakes of others all come down to this: Don't YOU do that!

And, by extension, consider the case of the Utah students who lifted a car that was crushing a motorcyclist in the wake of a crash on Monday.

For their bravery, the rescuers are being called "heroes" and "angels," though none want the labels.
"That's a big title," said Sharif, a doctoral candidate from Lebanon. "I don't consider myself a hero. It's just our humanity ... Everyone is going to help."

And so, by extension, where there is correct and compassionate action, YOU do that too. Since we're human, we might as well exercise a little humanity.

It's just our humanity.

1 comment:

  1. Humanity erupts in a moment of need, and yet is set aside when feathering our nests. We seem to be a species endowed with this precious opportunity to evolve from animal to human. And yet our dinners still come first. I have seen those who in the moment of need preferred to stand back and grumble about the inconvenience of that moment of need.