Myself, and others, have many times pointed out that we care more about what social gaff the latest movie star made in public than we do for the person who cares for grandma-in-the-nursing-home. Since it is Memorial Day the same could be said about soldiers all over the world who do what their countries ask them to do and no one knows who they are but everyone knows the name of the greatest soccer/football/cricket star!
We pay people we don’t know and who will never care a whit about us more than we pay those who give their lives that ours might be easier. Think about that the next time you drop 20 or 30 bucks for concert or game tickets!
We get what we pay for; literally, and while that may be well and good we should still THINK about what we are paying for. What importance are we giving one thing over another or one person over another? The woman who takes care of grandma or the old vet out begging on the highway corner might need that 20 or 30 bucks more than you need to see a game or a concert.
That said, the beautiful things in life are also necessary to make a ‘culture.’ The problem comes in the form of WHAT things we allow to rule and dominate our culture and why we allow that. There must be something to it in the wiring ‘upstairs’ because we have been this way for 1000’s of years. Just open a history book and read about the gladiators of ancient Rome!
Just for the sake of thought WHAT IF Memorial Day was not ONLY to remember fallen heroes but ALSO to remember the days when people made war instead of negotiations and when things were solved with swords, guns and bombs instead of with, say, a chess set?
Maybe one day Memorial Day will be a day that we remember those who took care of grandma and those who were sent abroad to help build fallen cities and medical units sent to care for the less fortunate instead of destroy cities, kill people and make them less fortunate?
There will always be merit and rank it is human nature but it is not without possibility that human nature can be trained to make war on REAL evil instead of shadowy, non -existent groups that live ‘way over there.’ Maybe the wars fought could be fought with computer games or real Chess Tournaments? Maybe people could learn the real enemies are not those with more oil than we have or those who have more ‘stuff’ than we have but the real enemies are the IDEAS of poverty, hunger, ignorance and greed?
I know, as long as human-kind exists, things will never be fair or perfect because not one of us is either of those things but, maybe, We can strive for better instead of worse, for Peace instead of War, and for the good of man-kind over the good of self.
Maybe the measurement of our achievements lie, not in who has the biggest house and the most ‘stuff’, but knowing who does not have enough stuff and putting a remedy to that? Maybe the measurement of what humans think is ‘enough stuff’ is a part of this? Maybe we DON’T need one fresh pair of sneakers for every day of the week? Maybe we DON’T need a five bedroom three story marble floored mansion for a family of two?
Maybe we don’t need to eat cake every day?