Saturday, August 20, 2011
I find it oddly surprising when I talk to people about taking care of their fellow man. I have come to the conclusion that compassion, as practiced here, is an oddly selfish activity. People only seem to be willing to lend a hand only if the person that they are helping is sufficiently similar to themselves.
Caring for others in America seems to have devolved into a cool calculation of self interest. Tax write-offs seem to figure prominently. Desire to maintain a tribal identity is another. Exclusion of others from largesse is a major component.
And when we grudgingly do dole out help to others, it usually comes with lectures and entreaties to become more like us, to abandon the supposed "choices" that brought the person to their dire straits and buy into the bourgeois-dominated existence currently being defended.
People are developing strategies for living in an uncertain world. Some have no hope of developing a workable strategy. Others have decided that the world-view and faiths that drive us are no longer worth supporting. There is still another group that just needs the resources to allow them a life worth living.
None of these conclusions are invalid. These folks, won't become like "us" because we are a dying breed. When I help someone, I am hoping that they don't become like me, but somehow, they can figure the way out of the endless maze that we all run through.
at 8:36:00 AM