04 June, 2008

vot are you sinking about?

i'm thinking that we now live in a society where it is more important to feel good than to be good; where our privileges have come to be viewed as inalienable rights; where our "right" to large, "safe" vehicles trumps the rest of the world's rights to clean air, drinking water, food and safety; where our children are given everything without a moment's thought given to those who have nothing.

i'm thinking that we are raising children who have no goal but their own fulfilment, no god but their sense of self-worth, obligations to no one but themselves, no sense of duty beyond that which is covered by their allowance, and no consciousness of a world outside their own small social circle.

i'm thinking i understand why the religious fanatics of the muslim world despise us: i do not condone their violence but i do see how our voracious appetite can be seen as offensive.

i'm thinking it is only a matter of time before the world's have-nots demand a little bit of what we have been gorging on for generations. i don't know how their demands will let themselves be known, but china's growing pollution and nigeria's violence give me an inkling.

i'm thinking that the future scares the hell out of me. this is one reason i don't want to have children.

then again, i'm thinking that whatever happens, it was bound to happen sooner or later: we've chosen to be blinded by the comforting availability of shiny hair, shiny cars, girls gone wild, ridiculously cheap microwave ovens, dangerously cheap gas, world disasters served up safely in dramatic montages on cnn, 8oz steaks, pre-washed organic salads, disposable clothes, low-sodium campbell's soup, botox, fashion barbies, designer sunglasses and designer dogs.

i'm thinking we seem to have gone so far down this road that i cannot imagine the kind of rocky path it would take to lead us back.

i'm thinking that we need to think a little more: about our choices, about the consequences of our actions, about our duty to others (mandated less by the carrot/stick of organized religion and more by a sense of interconnectedness with the rest of humanity, that moral compass that does not seek for heavenly reward but a sense of justice), about our duty to the planet, about the kind of world we are going to leave behind us.

i'm thinking that none of this is particularly original, but it is pertinent.


the Dude said...

Very profound.

I've noticed that here, in the west, our "rights" are more like demands and always coincide with the bank account (or the bank's ability to mislead with credit).

Anonymous said...

well said. -j

Anonymous said...

what about "do" not "think"