Friday, March 25, 2011

Have You Given a Thought to Those Who Suffer Around You?

It's tough for many of us these days, what with the recession and all. The morning's news is full of terrible disasters and warnings of impending environmental doom. Gas will cost you your soul pretty soon, but you need gas to get to work to earn money to pay for gas. American voters keep turning to prospective leaders who promise miracles and in the end deliver only favors for the people who give them money, still talking ideals all the while. It may be hard to keep your chin up sometimes.

But you have something better to compare all that to. There are those who know only deprivation, and I don't mean on some far-off continent. On spots of land within the USA, in the midst of our relative luxury and plenty, those peoples who occupied the land before European settlers arrived live in misery.

If you've been looking around on the internet today, you've probably been exposed to enough of a litany of hopelessness, so I won't list the problems on American Indian reservations. But the fact that the Indian Health Service division of  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services felt that it must invest money in this public service announcement speaks volumes.

I honestly don't mean to get you down, but really, how often have you been upset by far less than teenage suicide? There are some of us who have become outraged because an advertised product, a luxury item, isn't in stock. You know you're lucky or blessed or whatever just to have eaten today, right? Sorry, but you don't need that plasma TV or those shoes.

I mean, maybe some gratitude for what you do have is in order, and maybe a look at the world around you. You can call it superstitious or whatever, but... well, as ye sow, so shall ye reap. Or you can call it karma. Or you can say, "What comes around goes around."

Maybe the losses we've suffered recently are somehow a result of our own luxury, our own indulgence. Maybe we've spent too much on things unnecessary for survival while people starve around us. There are people with plenty of money who enjoy getting outraged at beggars.

You can come up with arguments or excuses, or you can look at yourself. Do you dare look at yourself? Do you dare stop justifying cravings? Truly, I hope so.

Perhaps, if you look around you and care about others, things will get better for you too. Maybe the answer isn't in the world around you, but rather inside of you.

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