Thursday, January 13, 2005

"Do Not Keep your Light under a Basket": The World Needs Help

I was reading
Savtadotty's letter to God. It contains many good questions. I couldn't answer them, but they got me rambling a bit more.

I really hate it when people attach certain events to the hand of God while ignoring the idea that god is everywhere, in everything. God doesn't just pop in to teach us a lesson here and there. God is with us.

I thought of this because of what Savtadotty says about blaming: "If this tragedy gives rise to better communication among the world's scientists, bureacrats, politicians, if it shrinks the global village so we all better understand that no one is really safe until everyone is safe, if we who are privileged to have enough food and shelter for today learn to share what we have with those in need today, without self-seeking, without status-seeking, even without tax-deductions, then maybe the hundreds of thousands will have died for a purpose. Blaming can never bring them back."

You know, it's interesting and ironic that whenever a disaster occurs, it always seems to be viewed as an opportunity to someone else for some other reason. Call it the mystery of iniquity. When the World Trade Towers collapsed in 2001 for example, investors in gold all ended up making lots of money. On the other hand, supposed successes have their drawbacks too. Our Canadian dollar has been steadily rising in value because the US economy seems to be going down but that means we have less business opportunities with the states so it's a lose-lose situation. It could be a blessing in disguise though afterall. Blessings don't seem to flaunt themselves. With the dollar, the Toronto Film industry can't compete with New York etc because it now costs others too much relative to their own currency. These examples highlight merely that goodness is subjective and that there don't seem to be correlations between good people and good outcomes. I don't believe in providence in a material way anyway. And I'm not really talking about natural disasters but are there really any natural disasters anyway? By naming one thing a 'natural' disaster and not other disasters, are we not, just like the God we would blame for being a clockmaker god who sits back like a father who never wanted to be a dad, distancing ourselves from the responsibility we inherently have for everything around us? Because you can always blame someone or something for the result of whatever even if it's not their fault. I yelled at my mother for waking me up this morning because I had already woken myself up 5 times before that and it made me crabby, which according to me at the time, was her fault. We do that kind of thing all the time. With the tsunami crisis, it was interesting to hear the different takes on it by former US president's Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr. They both seemed to see an incredible potential in the disaster to inspire hope and change. The idea seemed to be (translated into my own words), that those bad things that face us as a community of human beings all living on the same planet are meant to strengthen us and root us to the active duty we hold to one another. The belief in catharsis. It is impressive to some afterall, that within days, the international community had raised billions of dollars. Sometimes it takes something big to get people's attention before they're compelled to show any empathy, before they break out of their selfish shell. Thousands of people die every day from AIDS which makes up about as many deaths every few months as the tsunami disaster but the public perception of AIDS seems to be that that is not a natural disaster even though it's an epidemic. The reason for that may be simpy prejudices and fears about the sexually-transmitted disease because it's unimaginable that in some places the life expectancy isn't more than the mid-thirties as a result of AIDS. The elders are dissappearing and their wisdom goes with them. Now as the generations fold over and over again, we are slowly taught to care, because at the end of the day, everything we know is gone and all we have left is merely a sense of things. The question posed is: why would a benevolent God give something terrible to humankind or not prevent that which is preventable from happening? Now, do you want my answer or would you rather tell me yours? Why is it that you care about this world? All the prosperity over and above heaven could present itself, but if there are no hearts to house the treasure then what does it matter? We might as well have nothing.

2 Comments:

Blogger Savtadotty said...

I'm flattered that you chose to quote me. I agree there are many more things people can do to improve the world, without relying on G_d's protection or even existence. However, if you want to hedge your bets, you can even send a Fax to God

4:02 AM  
Blogger tripwalking said...

Emmanuel

From where else could this have come? "Instant karma", sober instant judgement. God taps His finger, and moves the earth off axis. Wake up, world, and repent.

11:03 PM  

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