reverence, amidst life’s problemsDecember 10, 2007
International Detective Dragons from Outer Space, or more lovingly, IDDFOS, always has this long string of conversations winding through its many episodes. Generally, it has one topic per, but usually the responses to older topics trickle in over time, and open doorways into much deeper thought on all sorts of things. The most recently topic was “they.”
Okay, so that’s vague. The “they” discussed was in regards to who does all the stuff in the world we don’t see but rely on. Who built the Lincoln Tunnel? Who decided to make Blue china, and not Orange china. Who cut this little piece of wood into a hexagon, then shoved a rod of graphite up the middle? Who turns all the knobs in the TV studio? If you think about how many people are involved in all the tasks and manufacturings that we rely on from day to day, it surely would be mind-boggling. There are 300 million people in America, and nearly every one of them plays a large part in the daily operation of, well, everything.
Then, on the same podcast, the idea was turned to the Corporate world, where “they” sit in high back leather chair, steeple-fingered and full of detachment from the way the world really is. Another interesting thought, that the 1% who own 99% of the worlds wealth (or something like that) sits in their ivory tower, polishing magic 8 balls and trying to make the most money they can with the least amount of work. And what of all the idea men who sit just below them, or the product managers, the PR people, the developers and advertisers? Are these people, those that implement what “they” are thinking into action, just as responsible for the actions of “they”? Are they not a “they” all to themselves.
Suddenly, Anim5, the host, is talking about the 3rd world, and I’m thinking that now we’ve breached a whole new level of conversation. Now, the “they” is the people who aren’t in control of their lives, and Anim spits out this estimate for child mortality. UNICEF Canada has an article that gave some more solid facts from a 50-year report:
* Pneumonia and other acute respiratory infections kill approximately two million children every year, making it the leading cause of death of children under five years of age
* Diarrhoeal disease kills 1.6 million children every year, primarily by causing severe dehydration that can quickly result in the failure of vital organs in young children
* Malaria kills 3,000 African children every single day, making it the largest cause of death for children under five on the continent and leaving a legacy of persistent anaemia, lifelong brain damage or paralysis for many who survive
* Measles kills more than half a million children every year. 1,800 children under the age of 15 are infected with HIV every day, most through transmission of the virus from mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
* Fifteen million children worldwide have been orphaned by AIDS, losing their first line of protection against disease and harm when their parents die. Iodine deficiency in pregnancy causes mental impairment in almost 18 million babies a year
* About 100-140 million children around the world are estimated to suffer from some form of vitamin A deficiency, leaving them at increased risk of mortality.
Clearly, shocking numbers.
These people are also “they,” and the one thought that rings through my mind is that we should have reverence for those who can’t control their situation. We, here in America, and the “blogosphere” in general, live in places and lives where we can decide to quit our job, start a new career, move on a tangent, refuse to purchase certain company’s goods, turn down our thermostats, buy clothes when they wear out, afford rising gas prices, eat in restaurants, purchase anti-bacterial soaps and lotions, go to doctors, to go dentists, go to city hall, go to school, go to church, raise our children how we want. There are many, many people in this world who have not a single privilege. And if you think about it, of all the problems that most of us have every day, not many of them threaten anything but our frustration level, and at the end of the day, our families and homes will still be there to come home to. We will still have food on the table and clothes on our backs.
Here is the gist: Give thanks. Give something. You don’t have to make a difference, but you might if you try.
There, I said it.