One step removed…

“We cannot rise higher than our thought of ourselves.” — Orison Swett Marden

We are all just one step removed from that which we hate, that which we have no control over, that which we are afraid. It behooves us to pay attention to the way we treat people. Are we so willing to discard people because we feel we are discardable? Do we ignore the starving because we are afraid we might starve one day lest we avoid the poor? Do we believe they deserve such fate? Who amongst us would starve by choice? What drives us to ignore those in need? What drives us to abandon those we love? Are we so accustomed to a disposable lifestyle that we believe even people are so easily replaced?

I believe we are all just one step removed from poverty…from being a scoundrel…from being a hero…from being left behind…from leaving another behind. It is not just our actions–our good or bad deeds–that separates us but our thoughts and happenstance. It is our social constructs. It is so many things and we are capable of great good and great bad.

Which will you choose today? And tomorrow? Who can tell?

Think twice before you make hasty decisions. Think twice before you walk past a person starving, begging for your spare change. Think twice before watching a family go hungry. Think twice before firing 2,000 employees in lieu of trimming the salary of the top executives. Think twice before cheating on your lover–be honest with them, it may do you both good.

I once saw a group of people giving out hugs in the middle of a busy city street. They held up signs and offered to give random strangers hugs. I wish to do just this so often. How many of us really need a hug but don’t say it, or don’t even know it? We are all one step removed from loneliness, from isolation, from sadness, from happiness… from good…from bad… from everything.

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3 Responses to “One step removed…”

  1. Terence Says:

    This entry reminds me of the many political discussions/arguments that I have with people. People who are wealthy want to cut programs like welfare. ‘I don’t want them to get rich off our tax money!’ is the standard they all seem to rally around. Of course, no one who presents said argument was ever ON welfare, or they would understand that hardly anyone games it to get rich, if anyone does. The average welfare recipient is merely doing their best to get by. There was someone who worked with me who wanted to eliminate Federal Minimum Wage laws. I of course explained to him how the ultra wealthy owners would get together and keep wages low, so low we could not survive. It would create economic classes where the poor were desperately poor and the rich had all the money (sort of like before there were minimum wages to begin with). The person I talked to seem to think that the market would force wages up. He could not admit that the reason there were such laws is because the market has already failed to work that way!

    I sometimes wonder exactly how many people really paid attention to history class.

    Of course, the history books are all boring and poorly written. Just one more attack on a education system designed to keep people that go to public school from getting a quality education.

  2. Terence Says:

    Perhaps that comment would have better if it were on the ‘irony of money’ post =) I get off tangent a little.

  3. Meg Says:

    I agree completely. People with lots of money are sometimes the worst offenders but I find the ones who are in the lower middle to be the worst. They are savages when it comes to financial issues. I believe it must be out of fear.

    That guy you worked with clearly buys into what the obnoxiously wealthy are selling–which doesn’t really help him.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

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