You’re riding in the car, and you and your friends are having a good time, laughing, four of you out on a ride… and then the conversation stops.
There’s an embarrassed pause, as the stink spreads; silence, then either a confession or accusations of who caused the stench. Sooner or later, a window is opened, and the offending fart is gone.
The fact is, one person farted, but EVERYBODY in the car is affected. There isn’t anybody wearing an air filter on their nose, so the experience is shared by everyone.
It’s like that with the situation in the U.S.A. and the world right now; there’s nobody OUT THERE; we’re all IN HERE. A person gets shot in Pennsylvania, or Iraq, and we all suffer.
I have a cousin who is very, very rich, we’re talking MEGA- and guess what? She has problems. Problems that make her heart bleed, that cause the kind of pain that makes grown people go to another room so you can’t see them crying. Problems, strangely enough, very much like yours and mine. It’s true, she’s not in Darfur; but she still has to survive in this life, just like you and me.
I see people on the street begging, and I can tell that some of them, like me, are veterans- people who served their country but didn’t marry beer heiresses. They gave of themselves, and a horrible system pumped on greed sold them the idea of patriotism, then spat them out onto the street when it had used them.
I guess what I’m trying to get across is that when there’s suffering, we all suffer. We all suffer from the greed of the weapon makers, the board of directors of companies that make all the hardware necessary for modern war. Pharmaceutical companies that sell a drug for a hundred times what it really costs. Intelligent people who sell the idea that it’s cool to be ignorant.
The most ignorant manifestation of this is people who pollute the environment for profit, thinking that the air they breathe is not polluted with what their factories spew out.
Republicans, Democrats, Independents, rednecks, hippies, plutocrats, beauty queens, smack freaks, presidents, the bottom line is that we’re all in this car together; and finding the solutions to our common problems is more important than fighting over who made the mess. When finally the accusations get old, somebody will have to open a window… so to speak.
So enjoy the sideshow, the electoral race, but don’t forget that after it’s over you are going to HAVE to cooperate with that neighbor with the political sign on his lawn, in order to save your family, HIS family, all your neighbors, and all the people in the world. Save your energy; WE’re going to need it.
Ben Franklin said it very well:
“We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.”