April 8, 2002
If I had a crystal ball and could see into the future, would you like to
know what I see? Would it be easier for you to take chances, to speak out,
to cause a ruckus, if you knew everything would turn out okay in the end?
If you knew what the future holds, would it be easier to make a
difference in history, to change the patterns of the past, to create
justice and peace? We hold the future in our grasp, you and I.
Throughout the vast reaches of humanity's habitation, masses of people live in poverty and destitution. Throughout Africa and Asia and Latin and South America, in Europe and, yes, here in North America, billions of people live a harsh and fragile existence. Disease and famine are the rulers of their lives and their deaths.
If you have more than you need, you are stealing from them.
Do you drive? You know, of course, that the fuel you burn is paid for in blood. Mothers and fathers watch their children starve and die, and children watch their mothers and fathers die, because you drive your car. That's because the fuel is worth money and lots of people want money. It buys cars and other convenient things.
How much junk do you have in your garage? How much garbage do you put out for the garbage man to pick up? Did you know that some people live off garbage, if they are lucky? That's not a good reason to put out more garbage, though.
Seems like there's always a war going on.
It's those unreasonable people over there who cause the wars, not you or me. It's those terrorists, those religious fanatics that are always fighting and killing each other, not us. It's called war, but that's just a conveniently nice way of shifting the blame, the responsibility. It's never just the people with guns and planes and rockets and bombs that are at war. It's you and I, too.
These nice lives we live are at the expense of other living creatures, (you know, animals), also. We never see the real price tag because we don't want to. It's those nasty corporations that do the polluting, not us. It's those damned loggers and coal miners that have no conscience, they should get other jobs.
Do you watch TV? TV is mostly for helping you buy things, and to help you forget about the people who are destitute and dying because you have more than you need. Do you like movies? How about sports? The opera? Entertainment is fun, isn't it?
When we watch the news about the people suffering in Palestine this week, let's blame ourselves. It will help us see the future.
Michael W. Stowell is chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Arcata Library in Arcata, CA. He is the producer/editor/videographer of numerous public access television programs; he is a naturalist, a gardener, a bicyclist and a Swans' columnist.
Please, DO NOT steal, scavenge or repost this work on the Web without the expressed written authorization of Swans, which will seek permission from the author. This material is copyrighted, © Michael W. Stowell 2002. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
This Week's Internal Links
Shepherding Us Into History's Charnel House - by Stephen Gowans
The Time The Great Ogre Hacked And Spit - by Milo Clark
America Through The Looking Glass - by David McGowan
A Verbal Analogy - Mind : Body :: Illusion : Reality - by Philip Greenspan
The Untouchable Israelis - by Deck Deckert
An Open Letter To Jewish Americans - by Assaf Oron
What Price Middle East Peace? - by Dr. Alfred M. Lilienthal
The Immigrant Nation (Part I): Mother Of Exiles - by Alma Hromic
Food. More. Now. - by Jan Baughman
Orenda - Poem by Sandy Lulay
You're Dead Mister. Dead. - by Dalton Trumbo (Book Excerpt)
Michael Stowell on Swans
Essays published in 2002 | 2001
Barbarians of Our Own Dark Ages? Debunking the Myth Behind the Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (December 2000)