Friday, March 23, 2012

Overwhelmed

In recent months, far too many of my days have been starting off with bad news. I choose to get my news from our local newspaper. That way, I can pick and choose what I want more details about, rather than having news thrown at me by talking heads.

OK, so I may not have the very latest, up to the second news like those who regularly check for it on their electronic gadgets. Frankly, I don’t think I could handle that.

Globally, the future looks dim for both humans and animals.

Global warming is causing Polar Bears to drown because their ice flows are melting. Other animals are still being slaughtered for body parts that are believed to have curative or magical powers. Little boys are forced to take up arms while their little sisters are made sexual slaves by criminals calling themselves freedom fighters.

Speaking of little boys, a vigilante identifying himself a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, shoots dead a young Black boy because he doesn’t like the looks of him. To make matters worse, the cops, so far, have failed to take even the most basic steps to investigate what appears to the rest of us to be cold-blooded murder.

Then some idiot decides to burn old holy books forgetting or ignoring the grave crime this is considered. Not long ago, some Christian zealot got himself plenty of publicity threatening to do that very same thing. Are we all losing our short-term memory?

Women have been targeted like never before. Some legislative types want to eliminate nearly all of our personal choices and subject us to humiliating, sometimes painful and unnecessary medical procedures. I’m not talking about female genital mutilation here. That’s another despicable kind of torture in the name of tradition.

No, I’m talking about further limitations and constraints put upon women seeking abortion. I cannot think of a more difficult or personal decision that should be left up to a woman and her doctor.

Some men seem bent on turning women back into chattel. One legislator, a man, thinks that rape victims should be asked if the resulting pregnancy could have resulted from regular marital activity. He doesn’t want women “cheating the system” by claiming rape just to have an abortion. It seems a lot of men still don’t GET IT! Rape is not a sexual act. It is a criminal act to dominate and damage.

Coptic Christians in Egypt are being slaughtered by their Muslim neighbors. It now appears that Muslims and non-Muslims no longer can live side-by-side as they had for generations. Why is this?

Jewish, Christian and Muslim children are targeted. Most are too young to have any sort of role in politics. Yet they are victimized because their injuries or deaths inflict far more pain on their communities.

And too many children have known only hatred and war their entire lives. How are they going to view the world if they survive to adulthood? Will they remain isolated from the rest of the world, living out their lives in guarded enclaves of their own kind?

Censorship and absolute control of incoming and outgoing information further alienate humans from each other. There are hundreds of thousands of visible and invisible walls dividing people and they seem to grow higher every day. I’m not sure how long the human race can survive these false barriers.

Truth hurts. Starving North Koreans, child soldiers in Africa, so-called customs that dictate supremacy of one gender or race over another, religious zealotry based on flawed beliefs, homelessness, mental illness – avoiding these ills will not make them go away. Contrary to appearances, no human is disposable. Lack of wealth, opportunity and/or social status requires those who have them to share them.

Give a woman a loaf of bread and you feed her for a day. Teach a woman to make bread and she will feed herself. Then she will start a bakery, hire and train her neighbors to make more bread. Before you know it, the local economy has grown and thrived and education becomes a right rather than a privilege only for those who can afford for it.

OK, maybe I’m exaggerating -- a little. Diversity and equality are powerful partners. When every mind is given free reign, ideas can be shaped into action to benefit mankind. The first and hardest step is listening and truly hearing what others are saying and feeling. The second step is admitting that there is more than one way to view a situation or problem and many, many ways to address each. Stubborn adherence to beliefs will only separate mankind further. Tolerance and sincere consideration for the thoughts and beliefs of others is one step in the right direction.

[Can you tell I’ve been bottling-up a lot of stuff? If you’ve been kind enough to read this far, I sincerely thank you and apologize for such a big dump.]

Peace Be With You

 

1 comment:

Janney said...

Yeah, it's a cruel world....