Monday, July 20, 2015

A Great Society

This is the Great Society of which you are so proud? Your “great society” has to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to consider the common good. Whenever common good or collective good is mentioned, everyone yells “communism!” in your society, if providing for the good of the many does not produce a huge profit for someone, the good of the many is more often than not ignored. This is not true only in your country, but also around the world. The basic question facing humankind, therefore, is: Can self-interest ever be replaced by the best interests, the common interest, of humankind? If so, how?
            In the United States you have tried to provide for the common interest, through laws. You have failed miserably. Your nation is the richest, most powerful on Earth, and it has one of the highest infant mortality rates. Why? Because poor people cannot afford quality pre-natal and post-natal care, and your society is profit driven. I cite this as just one example of your miserable failure. The fact that your babies are dying at a higher rate than most other industrialized nations in the world should bother you. It does not. That says volumes about where your priorities are as a society. Other countries provide for the sick, needy, and elderly. You provide for the rich and wealthy, the influential and the well-placed. Eighty-five percent of retired Americans live in poverty. Many of these older Americans, and most people on low income, use the local emergency room as their “family doctor,” seeking medical treatment under only the most dire of circumstances, and receiving virtually no preventive health maintenance care at all. There’s no profit, you see, in people who have little to spend.
America has done much that is observably true. Yet do you know that as a percentage of its gross national product, the United States provides proportionately less for foreign aid than many much smaller countries? The point is that, before you allow yourself to become too self-congratulatory, perhaps you should look at the world around you. For if this is the best you can do for the less fortunate, you all have much to learn.
You live in a wasteful, decadent society. You’ve built into virtually everything you make what your engineers call “planned obsolescence.” Cars cost three times as much and last a third as long. Clothes fall apart after the tenth wearing. You put chemicals in your food so they can stay on the shelf longer, even if it means your stay on the planet is shorter. You support, encourage, and enable sports teams to pay obscene salaries for ridiculous efforts, while teachers and researchers fighting to find a cure for the diseases which kill you go begging for money. You throw away more food each day in your nation’s supermarkets, restaurants, and homes than it would take to feed half the world. Yet this is not an indictment, merely an observation. And not of the United States alone, for the attitudes that sicken the heart are epidemic around the world.
The underprivileged everywhere must grovel and scrimp to merely stay alive, while the few in power protect and increase great hoards of cash, lie on sheets of silk, and each morning twist bathroom fixtures made of gold. And as emaciated children of ribs and skin die in the arms of weeping mothers, their country’s “leaders” engage in political corruptions which keep donated food from reaching starving masses. No one seems to have the power to alter these conditions, yet the truth is, power is not the problem. No one seems to have the will. And thus it will always be, so long as no sees another’s plight as his own. It is a lack of caring.
The entire planet faces a crisis of consciousness. You must decide whether you simply care for each other. You love the members of your own family. You simply have a very limited view of who your family members are. You do not consider yourself part of the human family, and so the problems of the human family are not your own. When we will realize that we are all one?

This excerpt has been shared from:

  "Conversations with God, An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 1-3" 

by Neale Donald Walsch

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