Maybe I’m just a “little” crazy, but for the life of me I can’t understand how we can be bombarded with information daily that shows us how bad things are, yet we make little to no effort to change things. Im increasingly dismayed with my generation. I study history and its amazing to see how men and women of courage, my age, put their lives on the line to make things better and in many situations today, those same ones, now older, are still fighting. However, my generation is so wrapped up in Britney Spears’ many pregnancies or what Beyonce’ is doing next, that we don’t even notice that we may not even be alive to talk about these things fifty years from now. The world in going to hell all around us and we are still partying and smiling when there truly isn’t anything to smile about.
There is a time and a place for everything. We should try to enjoy our lives and have fun, but how much fun can you have if that life you treasure so much(or do you?) is being reduced by policies and a culture that promote death?
I mused to my wife the other night, how thankful I am and how happy I am this Ramadan, because it centers me and causes me to reflect. I continued about how amazing it is that we live in a world where my children can peel the ends off their peanut butter and jelly sand-which, because they don’t like them, yet in other countries, children their age don’t even have those same bread ends to eat, let alone the rest of the bread, peanut butter, or jelly.
How can we continue our daily lives and not think about those things? Granted, maybe its hard to focus on starving people overseas, but there are starving people right here in Washington, DC! I will never forget my first visit to the Capital as a young 18yr old Marine. I was so proud to be a Marine and was thrilled to serve and I went to the White House with stars in my eyes only to see the homeless sleep right outside the gates! Its not like I have never seen the homeless or poor people, besides I grew up inside inner city New Jersey, its just I couldn’t imagine that in one of the wealthiest countries of the world, such an existence could manifest itself in the Capital of this country and some would say the world!
Obviously, I was naive, but in principle, maybe I wasnt. This “small” experience is indicative of the greater experience. We live our lives blindly moving along without the smallest concern or even thought of the greater human experience. We complain when we are blessed, we are selfish when we should be giving, and we are happy when we should be sad.
I listen to “our” President constantly remind us of how safe we are, yet almost every Intelligence Agency and Expert tells us that “our” policies are increasingly making us less safe. I watch the news and I am reminded of the sacrifice 2,700 plus of our troops have made not even counting the 20,000 or so injured, yet “oddly” enough I never hear of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died since this “democracy” was imposed on them. Need I remind people that Iraq’s mortality rate rose from 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people per year to 13.3 deaths per 1,000 people per year since “democracy”? Need I remind people of the death and destruction in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon…? What about Darfur, Somalia, the Congo, and most of Africa? How about the increasingly non existent middle class in America or the poor getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, our borders becoming porous, and crime is rampant? There is not a country or continent that is unaffected, yet we do nothing.
We continue to go to the club, or worry about Paris Hilton’s DUI, or the latest Xbox or PS3, yet we live in a world where a 20 year old mother of twin 9 month old boys in South Carolina this week, suffocated them, because they wouldnt sleep at night! Or a 17yr old boy in California was arrested this week for shooting a 3yr old at point blank range! Come the hell on! Maybe its just me, it has to be. We are constantly fed stories about suicide bombers and how Islam is so violent, but has anyone ever thought about the desperation one must feel to blow themselves up? What makes people do these things? What is this sickness that is festering in the minds of people today that we don’t seem to have a cure for?
Sure we can continue to build our mega-Churches, have our fancy Iftar’s, etc. Sure we can continue to play the latest Madden Game, watch the Dallas Cowboys(yes I’m a fan), or buy the latest Jay-Z comeback album. We can continue to party, play, worship, whatever we love to do. Just remember this, if it weren’t for young people who sought, fought, and died to give us these leisure’s we so enjoy, we may have to remember that freedom isn’t free. We might have to remember that when we throw our spoiled leftovers in the trash that somebody doesn’t even have food to eat. We might have to remember that when we adjust the thermostat in our homes that some don’t even have shelter. Sure we don’t have to pick up the torch and make choices to help in the cause of the betterment of humanity. Just remember that while you do these things you so love there still is that 800 pound gorilla in the room, whether we want to acknowledge it or not.
Peace and Blessings be upon you and yours