define our society
It seems to
me that the world is becoming more like a lunatic asylum every day and
not only are the inmates in control, but everyone else has locked themselves
in a padded cell with the tranquilliser pills, listening to soothing
music in the hope that it'll all go away!
While one half of the world
is trying to blow up the other half, those who aren't engaged in war
are trying to grab whatever they can and hold onto it before someone
else gets it.
From the comfort of our armchairs,
we watch the world dramas unfolding on TV every day.
Every day we watch the latest
exploits of Corporations - another third world country is milked for
their assets, another new "Get Rich Quick" scheme, more people
redundant from "downsizing" or "efficiencies".
Every day on TV we see the
latest atrocities by Fundamentalists (of whatever persuasion) - more
bombings, more "just" retributions, another ideology is the
"right way" today.
Every day on TV we see corrupt
politicians lining their pockets and looking after their "mates".
And every day on TV we watch
fiction and real-life dramas blending into one.
It's all just moving wallpaper
really - goes on somewhere else in the world and generally doesn't affect
the day to day lives of the millions who watch it. Statistics show that
we're more eager to know the latest eviction from the Big Brother household
or who scored the winning goal in the football match, than why someone
blew themselves up in an act of protest or what they were protesting
It's not that we don't care,
we are right up there with good advice....
"Governments should put a stop to bombings/terrorism/drugs/abuse/..".
"Our government should stop giving away tax payers money to other
countries when we have people at home in need".
"It wasn't like this in my day, it's all the fault of drugs/sex/rock
"It wouldn't be happening if we all followed the good book".
"Let's nuke the b---ers and that'll be an end to it".
"Let's all sing Cum-ba-ya and clap our hands together".
"We should all go out and spend more money to boost the economy".
"If we got rid of all the scroungers and cheats, we wouldn't have
to pay half of the taxes".
"They should send all foreigners back to where they came from".
And so, on....
It's the "someone else,
someplace else" syndrome. It's someone else who is dishonest, lazy,
deranged, violent, greedy or following the wrong rule book. And, it's
all happening in some other country, or some other backyard.
But, where do we draw the
line on honesty or integrity anyway?
Is it OK to add a couple
of extra items to an insurance claim to bump up the value? Well, after
all the money we've paid in, it's only fair to get a bit back!
Or is it OK, given an option
to pay cash for something, to get it cheaper because you know the workman
isn't going to declare it and pay tax - the government screws us for
taxes on everything else, why not get a discount if we can?
Would you consider it was
your lucky day if a cashier didn't ring through an item in your basket
or gave you change for a ten when you only gave them a five?
Is it OK to phone in sick
because you don't feel like working today?
And maybe it's OK to snap
at our loved ones because we've had one of those frustrating days when
no matter how hard we tried, everything went wrong and everyone wound
Everybody does it, right?
To some degree or other. What we see on TV are just the ones who do
it on a much bigger scale.
So, if it's OK for us to
be less than fully honest in our daily transactions, how can we complain
about corrupt politicians? Can we complain about increasing insurance
premiums if we skim a bit extra for ourselves if we get a chance? Can
we complain about being short-changed if we accept other's mistakes
when it's in our favour? Can we complain about companies cooking the
books if we're happy to pay less for services without tax?
If we think it's OK to cut
the cake to our advantage in the small things, what would we do given
access to a bigger cake? Our governments, corporations and institutions
are a product of our own values - they are run according to the value
system that we ourselves follow.
And at what point would our
own frustrations make us feel justified in more violent acts than being
grizzly with the spouse and kids?
If we want something different
from the "grab what you can while it's going" world that we
live in, then we have to change the values that we uphold as a society.
We have to change our own values as individuals and we have to pass
on better values to the next generation.
The small things matter,
because one day, opportunity may just test our ability to be honest
with the big things.
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