There’s this grossly false sense of engorged superiority going around. More contagious than this season’s coronavirus and the flu virus thats all over the recent news. More dangerous and deadly too. Ignorance is a side effect so there’s not much talk about it. This superiority, it spreads rampant through our souls, poisoning our compassion, infecting our communities, alienating our fellow humans. All this damage based on a matchstick foundation of self righteous lies we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel some sort of value. To bury and conceal our own fears and insecurities. Our own self hatred. Our own feelings of unworthiness. Seeing this brazen display play out on social media day after day. The facade of pompousness is disgusting. The fact that most of these sick humans believe their own bullshit is utterly nauseating. Not just believe. But even feel proudly justified to tout the “Us against them” rhetoric.
I cannot understand the rational or logic. I cannot fathom that because a fellow human exists outside of the confines of regular acceptable society they relinquish their humanness and can and should be considered less than human, less than even animals and treated as such.
Where do I see this horrific remake of some twisted large scale version of “The Lord of the Flies”? Immigration, Homelessness, Drug Addiction to mention a few. Those are real hot button issues here in my locale. Living in sunny South Florida, a real melting pot of people and cultures. Most Floridians are transplanted from elsewhere, whether that be domestic or international. Because of our tropical and mostly mildly climate and our large population of drug rehabilitation centers we have quite a few homeless and drug addicted folks who wind up flunking out of sobriety.
Absolutely these scenarios require attention and problem solving strategies to improve our entire community. The emphasis on the fact that entire community includes everyone. What they seem to be garnishing rather than creative collective solutions is pure hatred and scapegoating from the peak of Mount Holier-than-thou.
I have been very assertive in my beliefs against the practice of removing incoming or undocumented minors from their parents and placing them in child prisons indefinitely. I think this practice is unconscionable. This practice is beneath the alleged self-proclaimed “Greatest Country In the World”. I think it is cruel and harmful. I am horrified that this is occurring in the present day in my country.
And yet, there are many people living with this self righteous virus who disagree with me. “Well, they should stop coming here then! Let them stay in their own country and fix that place! It’s not that bad. They just want to free load They are taking over our country. They don’t want to learn the language. They don’t want to accept our ways”. Believing this utter garbage spewing from their mouths. I am shocked. Shocked at the death of human compassion. Baffled that people cannot see that the only reason they are arguing their point so comfortably is sheer luck of where they were born. Which by the way is not even ours. Most of our ancestors stole the very land we are occupying. By whatever means and force necessary. I for one am willing to bet that any human willing to endure a treacherous and frightening journey filled with potential peril and possibly death is not coming here “just for the food stamps”. Not only are these humans risking their own lives but the lives of their most precious children. Could it be considered that if you are willing to risk everything the stakes must be insanely high? The current climate of their living situation must be dire? No, you will never convince me that those children belong in cages. No, you will never convince me that their parents and caregivers had a choice. Doesn’t it speak volumes that these circumstances are the lesser of their two evils?
In my city there has been an explosion of homeless population at one of our area parks. Dubbed “Tent City”, the homeless have taken up residence in an area of the park and reside in a communal space. The resources are meager and limited. It is by no means a luxury existence. Realistically it is a slight step up from a stint on “Naked and Afraid”. Only you have no support production team or end in sight. The park is large and has gone completely under-utilized for years. Yet suddenly the surrounding community members are in an uproar. Outraged that “these people” have taken over the park. Implying that the park is now dirty and derelict, infested with hoodrats and junkies and uninhabitable for everyone.
All fear mongering falsehoods. I’ve been there. Tent city is clean. The people are everyday people, no different from you or I. The fact is that no one aspires to become homeless. Most of us are just as susceptible to the circumstances that create the unraveling of a life into homelessness. Many of us choose not to acknowledge that fact. The only division between the homeless and you or I is chance and circumstance. In reality, how many of us have a large stash of savings for just in case? How many of us have adequate family support who will assist us unconditionally in dire straits?
I am not sure what it is about the human psyche that shuns and sequesters those that are vulnerable? Is it some instinctual survival of the fittest relic, like our wisdom teeth and tailbone? We haven’t evolved past this primal behavior? Is it because we are afraid that somehow their unfortunate circumstances may be contagious? We may catch their homelessness, their drug addiction? Is it because we don’t know what to do to help? Is it greed and fear? That somehow in a country that wastes more than we could ever consume there won’t be enough to go round? How do people truly believe in their heart of hearts that somehow we are better than because of a birthplace? What harm would it do to extend kindness and compassion? Are they not deserving of that for the simple fact that they are a living creature?
That false security that veils us and props up our superiority is a fragile thin state. Like a delicate lace. One good hard pull and it unravels. The sanctimonious all fall and flounder eventually. Puffed up chests deflate as chance gives them the gut punch they never saw coming.
Here’s what I have learned from my life’s events:
- Never say never.
- Never think it can’t happen to you.
- Never judge someone whose shoes you haven’t walked in.
- Things could always be worse.
- Always be grateful.
- We all deserve love, kindness and compassion.
What are your thoughts on this piece? How do you view the human experience? Have you ever been knocked off a high horse? What was that lesson like?