Tag Archives: Selfishness

“Unless a life is lived for others, it is not worthwhile” — Mother Teresa

200,000 people died from the effects of Haiti’s earthquake.

The world came through, raising billions of dollars.

200,000 children die every 8 days because of preventable causes related to poverty.

200,000 children died in the 8 days prior to the earthquake.  Did you hear about them?

200,000 children died in the 8 days after the earthquake.  Does anyone know their names?

Today and tomorrow and the next day, impoverished children will die in the tens of thousands.  We can save them too.  Maybe not all at once, but in time.  We could save many all at once.

All we need to do is decide that they are worthwhile.  Then we just make a few small sacrifices.  Millions of human lives for small sacrifices.  We can do it, too.  All we need to do is decide that they are worthwhile.

But we don’t.  Instead, we want what we want.  We get what we want, instead.  Newer and nicer and cheaper are worthwhile.  Distraction is worthwhile.  Maybe if we pretend it’s not there, it will go away.  Many things are worthwhile.

They die.  Little kids.  Millions and millions of little kids. 25,000 today.  25,000 tomorrow.  25,000 the next day.  25,000 the next day.  25,000 the next day. Etc.

Oh well.

I wonder if God judges us by the things we consider worthwhile?

worthwhile

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“Self-interest is the enemy of all true affection.” — FDR

It’s 4:48 am, and I have a potentially life-altering day tomorrow, so I will keep this barren.

Waiting for my bacon and egg breakfast this evening, I flipped idly through a complimentary copy of the National Post.  Three articles grabbed my attention.

The first told of a 70-something man who was robbed by two guys on the Toronto subway.  He called for help, and even gave hobbling chase after they took his wallet.  Nobody in the busy subway car showed the slightest concern.

The second told of a man in New York who helped a woman in need when she was attacked on the street.  He was stabbed by the attacker for his trouble, and lay dying on the sidewalk in a pool of blood for almost an hour, while people walked by, took pictures, but did nothing to help.  Kitty Genovese all over again.

The third was a feature piece on the historical slave trade in Africa, and outlined how, in truth, 9/10 slaves were captured and delivered to the coast by other Africans, who sold them to Europeans to make a profit.

Three shining examples of humanity at its most self-interested. I don’t suppose it’s reasonable to blame people for being coldly self-interested – we must look out for ourselves after all, and there is great historical precedence for rewarding oneself at the cost of others freedom.

By the same token, a rat can not be blamed for being a rat – for eating garbage, shitting all over the place and spreading disease.  But it’s still a rat, right?

I think we all agree that the world would be a nicer place to live in if we somehow found a way to truly care about each others happiness and health – to love the ‘we’ more than the ‘me,’ so to speak.  It’s funny that we can agree on something so simple and straightforward and good, and yet materialize immediately as a pack of filthy rats, fighting over scraps of rotten meat, and shitting all over each other.

So are we humans behaving like rats, or rats behaving like humans?

Peace and Love

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