Ever think about wearing another’s shoes, boots, high heels or moccasins? I think about it more every day as our country destroys more of what is ours; ours as a people throughout the world.
Disturbing pictures of the before and after of Libya and annunciating articles about what the people there will never have again,
I'm sickened when I put myself in a place of such destruction, destruction of and by mankind. If we’re fighting evil throughout the world, shouldn’t we be fighting every human being who continues to destroy the place "we" call home? My dictionary defines evil as morally wrong or bad, don’t we have enough of it right here in “our” own backyard? Is it right that we defend what is "ours" while taking what is "theirs"?
Recently I picked up a book, Humanity On A Tightrope by Paul R. Ehrlich and Robert E. Ornstein, a book about thoughts on empathy. I have a better understanding now after reading it of what we’re lacking in order to survive as a species and I question whether we can be empathetic enough to survive as one. Not one under God but one on the planet.
These writers discuss “us” and “them” and what I feel is the duality of our species. Even in our own little corner of the world when we try talk to others about peak oil, climate change and collapse we hear, “You’re one of “them”, I can tell.” As more of us speak openly, sharing information that is factual, we’re told, “don’t’ go there, that’s your belief not mine", or “you’re too judgmental”. Facts are based on what is real and not on someone’s opinion and judgments are based on opinion. I guess you could say, "I don't like that fact" and be judging it. But the fact remains, it's still a fact. Some may argue that it depends on where the fact comes from and whose fact it is so they can justify the lies being told. The color gray isn't bad as long as you can recognize the black and white on either side of it.
|Cold hearted orb that rules the night,|
removes the colours from our sight,
Red is gray and yellow white,
But we decide which is right,
And which is an illusion?---The Moody Blues
The black and white is the landscape of the history we leave behind. Why not discuss it? In order to be empathetic, don’t we need to know the history behind why we do what we do? Isn’t it our responsibility to understand the difference between fact and fiction? History like the human race comes in all colors but some things are very black and white no matter what other beautiful colors there are.
Many of us found George Carlin to be funny on stage but those who followed him throughout his career could see the anger and disappointment in his eyes as time went on. His last HBO performance, Life is Worth Losing, told “us” to pay attention to the different hats people wore, as it may be important someday.
I don’t know what it is that makes people in this country happy when we kill a ruler in another. Do we really think we’re helping the people there, when we’ve demolished their land to rubble and nothing else? Let us remember Libya and in a few years look back at how we’ve helped them. Let us put ourselves in their shoes and ask if we’re all better for it? I can’t begin to imagine what living in a war zone looks like, as we’ve never had to experience it. What about innocent children that happen to be born in the wrong place at the wrong time? Do we ever consider that they could just as well be our children and not just theirs? Casualties of war is no legacy to leave to any children.
My mom always told us children never to be hateful, so what does it say about mom’s today? Are we breeding hatefulness? What hope do we have for children of the world if all they are subjected to is hate? What religious philosophy goes against do unto others as you would like done unto you?
Empathy may not be the only determining factor of our survival but it certainly will be one of them. How we feel about others is definitely a reflection in the mirror of who we are.
Can’t say I have hope that we’ll discover the empathy needed to save humanity but I can say that what we’ve done in “our” name has made the tightrope longer and thinner. Someone once said, “what goes around, comes around” and without empathy it will be here sooner than “we” think.