HUMANIST CORNER August 2019
“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival. Dalai Lama
“Since the world has existed there has been injustice. But it is one world, the more so as it becomes smaller, more accessible. There is no question that there is more obligation that those who have shall give to those who have nothing.” Audrey Hepburn
“Whatever you do will be insignificant but it is important that you do it.” Mahtma Gandhi
As these words are being written “World Humanitarian Day” is fading away for another year. This is an unusual departure from my normal “Corner” submissions for your consideration because the following words have already been submitted to our local newspaper. Although they haven’t seen ink yet, the Northwest Florida Daily News’ Op Ed page has been more lenient in running non-conservative or Libertarian comments. Please join me there.
I hope you’ll feel these are sound humanitarian observations. So here they are:-
Once upon a time, in more primitive days, early humans revered Mother Nature who sustained all life, fed and supported them. Small likenesses of the chubby goddess are still stumbled upon by anthropologists. Travelling in groups, for the most part women gathered, men hunted. As in other species, females selected males likeliest to continue their gene pool. An important factor in human males was upper body strength. The better to protect them, later turning the soil to feed them. Such planting allowed larger, more stable communities to spring up, often near water sources. Of course this stability had its own drawbacks as one community attacked another for their food, or even the land it was grown upon.
Upper body strength and more deadly means to project it, remains a problem to this very day. China was first to unleash explosives but it took Europeans to finesses it into modern weaponry. New navigation lanes open and a world to conquer, off they sailed! From overseas wealth sprang magnificent churches, castles and palaces. Clearly explosives hadn’t made their way to places still relying upon upper body strength of older times – hence the pillaging of the Southern hemisphere by their Northern neighbors began full sway. In modern parlance, “You don’t take a knife to a gunfight.” One is still hard-pressed locating governments, businesses or religions lacking in upper body strength patriarchy-
Yet despite the present rise of “strong men,” our times are much less amenable to the “bash it, or buy it” trait polished by centuries of success. Despite their still despicable treatment in many regions of the world, women and children are on the move. They fully understand there’s just one race. The human race! Clearly, what species could long survive using only half its brain? As the comic strip ‘gator, Pogo, wisely commented, “We have met the enemy, and they is us.”
Mindless waste and consumption is literally killing us and our only planet. Debates over border and birthright increasingly useless against the winds of time and change. Doubtless the people in Palm Springs, not unlike those in Poland or Port-au-Prince, require air to breathe, potable water to drink, and Mother Earth’s nourishment.
“Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding: which have eyes and see not; which have ears and hear not.” Jeremiah 5:21