Our shallowness knows no depth
Millions more could die within a few weeks.
While some of us pay tribute to the final cleanup of the WTC remains in NYC and others desperately search atop pedestals for someone to knock down for political gain, entire sections of Pakistan and India may have disappeared from world maps.
Yet we seem more preoccupied with deciphering verbiage from America’s newest version of Ozzy and Harriet (they speak with those cool British accents, you know), following court cases involving the Fighting Whities and other incidences of ineptly important political correctness, and attending botox parties.
Most of us are wrapped so selfishly tight in our own personal ideological blankets that we have forgotten history, whether it be lessons from biblical times, the 20th century, or last Tuesday.
What is your first thought upon hearing the words “Japan” and “1945?”
Our failure to remember the past for anything longer than a partisan-laced sound bite never ceases to amaze me.
Extremism from both sides of the worldwide political coin is running rampant with paranoia over fears from global warming due to bovine belching all the way to democratically elected dictators creating a New World Order along the lines of the Fourth Reich right under our naïve noses.
Who are these people?
They are us.
Accept it or not, they are our co-workers, our friends, neighbors, acquaintances. Those whom we respect and those who annoy us. Those who build the beer joints, those who serve us the beer, and those who wash the empty glasses.
Americans of every race, color, creed, tax bracket and party affiliation are part of the problem AND the only hope for a solution.
So, how do we solve it?
Simple. We don’t.
Achievement of goals is human nature, and certainly not confined within border of the United States. Completing a run down that menacing double-black diamond without falling is on the same level to some as putting food on the table for a family of eight in Rwanda for tonight’s dinner.It’s all a matter of perspective.
We pick and choose our battles, most of them little more than menial tasks to help us make it through the day, but a few with much higher, big-picture significance, at least to those doing the choosing.What is perceived by most as a frivolous waste of time and resources affecting the innocent lives of thousands in a mountain community is twisted by a few into using arson as the means to protest the potential threat of death to a pointy-eared cat.
They are convinced their violent actions will bring about change.
Fifteen years of being taught that Americans and Jews are the evil caretakers of Satan himself thoroughly justifies a Palestinian teen-ager with zits on his face and still hairless armpits to strap C-4 to his chest in order to take as many as possible with him as he commits suicide.
It all depends on where one is standing when the choices are made.
Here in the States we prefer to ignore the rest of the world, as much as the media will allow us to, pretending that conflicts elsewhere have little bearing on whether or not “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones” overtakes “Spiderman” at the box office.
A staunch member of the Democratic Party will forego all rational and moral convictions for the sole purpose of vehemently disagreeing with a staunch member of the Republican Party, even over something so trivial as a photograph or a dog’s name.
Republicans will do the exact same, only they will use Clintonisms, as well as would Libertarians, Reformists, Communists and members of the Jedi Order.
Our shallowness has no depth.
Ironically though, this superficiality proves our humanity by espousing our never-ending quest for achievement.
It is what forces us to think, and sometimes react, hopefully in accordance with our built-in internal rules and regulations as to the difference between right and wrong.
It promotes and creates competition among mankind, which in turn has allowed us to grow and prosper as a species, conquering the previously unthinkable year after year.
We have the capability to feed and cloth every person on the planet many times over and to hurl spaceships into the universe to take photos of the origin of time itself. Yet rivalries among ourselves force millions to die needlessly each year all in the name of God, politics or both.
A decade ago the mere thought of a nuclear exchange provoked outrage and contempt. Today we amazingly seem to accept it as an inevitable occurrence in our lifetime.
One helluva scary trend.
Richard Carnes of Edwards can be reached at email@example.com