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No Man Is An Island

July 24, 2012

Yesterday my neighbors’ house was burglarized. They live right next door. The job was pulled off in broad day light. My wife and I were in and out of our house four times. We didn’t see a thing. Our friends lost valuables, a huge, wall-mounted TV, two computers and their total sense of safety and security.

As an older guy, I must try very hard not to look back to the good old days. I fight to stay upbeat and positive. Unfortunately I have a sinking feeling. It seems that our country has lost it’s moral compass. For some reason a whole bunch of people want to blame the poor for all our problems.

They rant about those who do not pay taxes, while ignoring the fact that the poor pay lots of taxes, federal, state and local, and almost always pay more as a percentage of their income than do the rich. They hate those on the dole, yet before the economy went haywire only eight percent of the population was receiving assistance. A large percentage of the total was both white and or elderly. They vilify illegal immigrants. The majority appear to be hard working people who slip across the border to toil willingly where good ole Americans won’t. Finally they simply hate the drug abusers, and the criminals who prey upon us every day.

In blaming them, we blind ourselves to a simple truth. Targeting the poor may be self serving for those who are doing just fine, thank you. People who are in business are there for profit. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that at all. But, recent events seem to prove that greed, pure and simple, was the real culprit in throwing our economy into a tail spin. Even after the near disaster of 2008 we are still witnessing one rip-off after another on Wall Street. And is it fair to say, that many businesses, large and small, are on the dole too? Finally, can we really trust powerful business men or their surrogates to run this country, to fairly represent we, the people? Maybe. Maybe not!

I know something about crime. It’s in the resume. Unfortunately the criminals and the poor won’t just up and go away. I believe we need to watch our step. If we start blaming them for our economic problems and pushing back hard, there will be a price to pay. Increasing numbers of our citizens will lose hope and come for us in broad daylight in our nice homes in the suburbs. Brothers and sisters, we all can’t afford to buy high-tech security or armed guards, and I doubt very much, that there is more than a handful of us who can actually purchase an island somewhere.

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the main….any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” Poet John Donne, 1624

From → Life Stories

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