Monday, March 28, 2011

Of True Sacrifice.

c. David Grim (taken 3/19/11)

Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Rioting in the streets. Oil spills. Escalating national debt. A continuing assault on the Middle Class. Welcome to 21st Century life... and the big question is how to deal with it all. If you don't already have kids, you might want to think about forgoing the pleasure. Personally I'm grateful for the my son's presence in my life. But it keeps things simpler if you don't have any dependents. Pure hedonism is only an ethical option if you have not forged close relationships that you aren't willing to sacrifice.

Apparently though, there are lots of folks willing to hunker down and look after their own at the expense of everyone else. That seems to be the predominant strategy among our nation's wealthy and corporate class. I suspect that if you could see into the minds of the people that have benefited most from the political organization of our country (and by extension, the world), you would learn that they have no hope (and really, little desire) that things can get better for the "masses". And that's just the type of impersonal outlook they have cultivated to justify their lack of concern for the plight of their fellow man.

Most of us are too busy trying to figure out how to ensure the continued existence of ourselves and our loved ones to have a choice. We don't have the option of quietly blaming the inherited system as we luxuriate among our many possessions. So many of us seek to direct our resentments and bitterness toward individuals, whether they be Wall Street manipulators, oil barons, CEO's of media conglomerates, or simply the very rich. After all it's a natural impulse to try to find the responsible parties and seek redress from them. Unfortunately the law is not on the side of the victims when the gears of society are co-opted by moneyed interests.

So here we are, post-Citizens United, and things are looking increasingly bleak. It's easy to see how the millenarians are divining the "end of the world" as they look around and see the current state of affairs. At least the faithful have the reassurance of a heaven, whatever that entails. For those without the received confidence inherent in divine intervention, our path is less clear. What we have is what we get. We have to make the best of it as we stumble along. We are minuscule in the face of large, impersonal forces, perpetuated by specific individuals who would never accept credit for the current conditions. Whatever we contribute, in the face of such adversity, is true sacrifice.

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