I’m taking a big risk, here, you know. By the time you finish reading this post, you may think I’m totally out of my mind. But I wouldn’t be me, if I let that stop me from speaking my mind. So here goes.
Have you ever wondered why so many ‘bad’ things seem to be happening, one on top of another? The financial crisis that just won’t go away, for example. And whenever we think there might be a little light at the end of that long, dark, terrifying tunnel, it rears its ugly head somewhere else in the world. And what about all those absolutely bizarre, never-before-experienced weather patterns.
Tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms, hail storms, dust storms and floods that are wiping out towns and villages and cities, states, islands and even parts of countries. Leaving total devastation in their wake.
Terrible political unrest. Civil disobedience. Riots. Looting. Shooting. Bombing. Blasting. Killing. Maiming. Mayhem. Horrific acts of terrorism. Senseless acts, committed by extremists who have no respect for human life, including their own. Sadly, frighteningly bereft of shame, or guilt or conscience.
We are being bombarded from all sides. It is just relentless. So do you ever ask yourself, “why”?
Okay, this brings us to the I-told-you-she-was-strange part of today’s story. Do you think it could be The Universe ‘cuffing us upside the head’? Punishing us for our years of greed and excess? All our power mongering? Do you think this is all meant to teach us a lesson? To get us to change our ways?
To re-evaluate our Values? Huh? Do you think? Is this our wake-up call?
Well, folks, promise me that you won’t touch that ‘escape’ key. Come on, take your hands off the keyboard. Put them in your lap. All right. Ready? I’ve got to tell you, I’m thinking it is. And I also think we have a chance to come out of this in better shape than we were in, before it started. But ‘better’ will look a lot different than it did in the past. Because without our really noticing what was happening, we have allowed our Values, to get completely out of whack.
When did enough stop being enough?
When did we decide it was okay to let nothing stand in our way, in order to get what we wanted? Even if it involved lying. Cheating. Being deceitful. When did we become vultures, ready to feed off the carcasses of our competitors and even our colleagues, if they had the temerity to want what we wanted?
When did we have to mortgage ourselves to the hilt, in order to buy bigger and grander homes?
When did the average family of four need six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a ‘great’ room big enough to entertain twenty or thirty people very comfortably, a library, a study, a den, an office, a gym, a master bedroom ‘suite’, a spa, walk-in closets larger than most boutiques, Nanny quarters I’d be happy to live in, ‘grounds’, instead of a backyard, a five-car garage, an olympic-sized pool and an outdoor, stainless-steel kitchen that makes my indoor kitchen look pre-historic? When?
When did the average family of four need four cars? At least two of which are huge, honking, gas-guzzling ‘tanks’ that used to be reserved for either going into battle, or going on Safari? Not going to the mall. Or to soccer practice. Or even back to the ‘burbs after a visit to the city.
How did we manage in bungalows? Despite the smaller quarters we occupied, why does it seem like we saw more of our friends and family, than we do now? That we invited them over for meals, or just to hang out, more often? We may even have had to wash the dishes by hand. Yet, we survived. Did we really ever share bathrooms? Did kids borrow their mom or dad’s car?
Did we make do with just a black handbag for the winter, and a white one for summer? With fewer than thirty pairs of shoes? Without TVs in every room of the house, including the laundry room? Without every gizmo on the market? Was it that bad? I don’t remember it being bad, at all. I remember it being fun. And stress-free.
Which you can certainly not use to describe our lives today.
What’s wrong with us? With our Value-system? Why is it wrong for a President (any President, any politician, anywhere in the world, or even you and me, for that matter) to want no one to die because they can’t afford a medical test, or procedure, that could save their life? Why is it wrong to want every child to have access to an education? Why is it wrong to expect the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share of taxes? Not more than their fair share, just their fair share.
Why do we continue to refuse to acknowledge the part we have played in the destruction of the environment? Why do we continue to refuse to modify our behaviour, so we can salvage what’s left of this planet? Why are we not taking this threat, this reality, seriously?
Why is it wrong to expect people to share their bounty? To share knowledge. And experience. To collaborate. To find common ground. And goals. To use our collective wisdom and strength for everyone’s greater good.
Why can’t we share? Period. Why can’t we ever be satisfied? When will we understand that it is not our wealth or our possessions that define us; but that it’s our character, our deeds, our actions, our moral compass, our integrity, our decency, our generosity, our Values that tell the world who we are and what we stand for? And, once we’re gone, what we accomplished in our lifetimes. What we meant. And what good we left behind.
Instead of just being opportunistic why can’t we establish ‘meaningful’ priorities for ourselves, and others?
Everything we’re going through is happening for a reason. I truly believe that. I also believe that the solution is not really that complicated. Or it doesn’t have to be. But first we have to be willing to stop worshipping at the wrong alter, and start worshipping at the right one. That’s actually our biggest hurdle. To re-program ourselves. To re-visit our Values.
To figure out what’s really important in this world, and to be willing to embrace it. To change. To re-adjust. To re-calibrate. To modify our behaviour. And to see to it that our politicians and business leaders modify theirs.
We can make this right. Sorry for venting.