Some days it feels like the world is coming apart, doesn’t it? Hurricanes, tsunamis, the economy collapsing, the health care crisis, an increasingly bitter election cycle, genocide in foreign lands – you name it and it seems pretty bad. And I think the reason things are getting so bad is that so many people are forgetting one very important aspect of being a human – we are all in this together and there is no avoiding that fact. If the economy falls apart, who is affected? Everyone. Sure, some worse than others, but everyone will be affected in some way. If our planet continues to heat up, every single species on earth will be impacted – from the smallest microbe all the way up to us “infallible” humans.
In the end, you know where we all end up? Yep, the same place. And you cannot take your cars, houses, bank accounts, investments, collections, trophy wives, health insurance or anything else with you – it’s over. So does it really make sense to spend your entire life “getting” more than the next guy? Really? Does it make much sense to not want to help out a fellow citizen who might need help paying their medical bills because you are that concerned about your bottom line? Do you really want to go to your grave with the thought that the U.S. is the best and everyone else be damned? You would be surprised at the angry emails I get from people complaining about what I write about! If I say we should help out people who are less fortunate and I am a socialist. If I say we should think about moving towards sustainable energy I am called a dreamer and that it will never happen. If I talk about switching to a non-toxic dish soap that costs $.25 more than “regular” soap, I get called an elitist because I can afford “gourmet” soap; after all, who cares if it pollutes the ground – it’s “cheaper!”.
The fact is, we are all connected in some way or another and everything we do affects the rest of us somewhere down the line. I know I could do more for society as a whole and I am just starting to find my niche as I get a little older. But I have shifted many of my ideas of what my “life” should be and what I want out of it, and I am starting to see what a difference we can all make if we took a second to stop thinking about only ourselves and what we have or can get. Most every action we take has a consequence – be it buying cheap plastic crap from China filled with lead paint, buying the most gas-guzzling, 9 passenger truck to commute solo to work in, or punishing people for being poor – that will come back to haunt you. Your kids will be poisoned because you wanted to save $1.00 at Walmart on a new toy, your potentially unnecessary monster truck will depend on us inventing more wars to steal oil from foreign countries, and your personal health insurance costs will skyrocket because the poor are going to a hospital with a slight cold because they don’t have insurance. It all comes around, even if you think it doesn’t, so I think it’s high time we start thinking about the bigger world around us and not just what goes on in our own little tiny lives.
Let’s start acting like we give a damn about each other and see what happens. Could hurt to try?
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