May 09, 2003

Damn it, the tears come to my eyes too quickly. I fell in love all over again with a friend today. Small things: something said, something written, something done -- and I remember all over again as if it were for the first time why it is that I love a person. Maybe just as well I saw when I did -- for now I go to meet with two who both know -- in complete opposite -- what the world should be, and who are in consequence both temporally frozen into the great perceived betrayal of their lives and cannot but see all things through that frame. Gaining strength from potentials embraced, transferring strength where the potentials have been blighted.

I watch and hope for India and Pakistan. The reluctance for external mediation-influence seems to have had at least one positive result! But: so young, still so fragile. (Hope.)

All humankind is my family. It makes no sense to me to consume and consume and consume. I have basic needs, and I spice those a little with salt. Beyond that, I derive no enjoyment out of consumption which comes not to the benefit to, but at the expense of others. I cannot. I have heard so very often the retort of superiority and righteousness, but I don't think that can be a factor because I don't feel superior. Quite the contrary: everyone I run into seems so much more able than I in so many different things! Others hold insights I never would have suspected on my own. I watch, and I am in awe.

I think many people don't take the time to look. Maybe they think it is not worth the time to look. (Time, measured against 'worth'. 'My time is worth too much for that.') So what are we doing with all that time efficiency is supposed to be saving us?

And yet: so easily dismissed. "Stupid people". "Life is cheap." Other people's lives invariably: never one's own. I told a friend recently that I did not find them any more superior than any other person I knew: I cannot imagine that was taken well. But what is a perception of personal superiority than a statement of being somehow more deserving? of funds, of self-regulation, of happiness, of life, take your pick. There is absolutely no point to that statement without it being quantifiable against some external measuring stick. (This applies even if said superiority is perceived not as the justification in itself but as the root of desirable traits, the application of which 'obviously' results in a higher outcome on that measuring stick.) To say that someone does not know a thing (or is unaware of a thing) is only that. Things can always be learned, and re-learned, and sometimes completely torn down and rebuilt. But to say that someone is stupid is frequently to suggest that they are incapable of ever knowing. To say that someone is ignorant is frequently to suggest that they have made a deliberate choice not to know. Both are statements of perceived value masquerading as fact.

And how much of that "stupidity" which "costs me money" arises out of simple fear -- fear in a rich place where basic resources required even for day-to-day survival are not a fundamental right? The tragedy of the commons. What is insecure will be hoarded and abused at every opportunity. Generations of insecurity are not cured into self-reliance and hope by a few (barely adequate?) welfare cheques accompanied by the constant threat of loss.
Here lies a toppled god.
His fall was not a small one.
We did but build his pedestal --
A narrow and a tall one.

- Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah

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