Monday, December 17, 2012

Of Whales and Worms

When whales contrive to beach themselves,
They are given quite a play,
But what of worms who strand themselves
On the sidewalk every day?

The situation's much the same,
Except, of course, for size.
The little creature, like the large,
If left unrescued dies.
The above light verse was written by a man who lived well into 80's, wrote 18 books and books, and fought in one of the bloodies battle of World War II.  He also would pick up a stranded worm on the sidewalk and deposit it to the next piece of grass he saw.

I got to spend some time this past weekend with the some friends in his home he shared with his surviving sister for the holiday season. 

In light of this past Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the blame went around full circle from God, government, media and of course guns.  84 people have died in the US this year as a result of mass shootings and the upcoming weeks and months will fill up with debate from every angle.  Once again, a caucasian young man with above average intelligence and mental health issues followed down a path and chose as his last act to leave the defenseless powerless and make the choice to take their lives and his own.

I don't care to judge the shooter or his mother.  Like with someone who has committed suicide, I am no worthy to judge.  I did not walk down the last miles in their shoes.  I don't care to blame God.  He or she has never left us, we may want to chose to leave him back in our lives.  The two big G's are up for another debate at another time.

We need to take a look inside as to what our own culture has evolved.  Day by day, year by year, our society celebrates winning and winners to new levels of praise while leaving others as vanquished.  In this country's continued debates about fiscal policy the elderly won't be touched as much as children with nutrition, health care, education, and school lunches.  Who did PA state government attack the most in their last budget? Child poverty is rising faster than the adult poverty rate.  We have evolved into a society where if you don't have wealth or status, you really don't matter and are nothing. We do all we can to take and hold power but we do very little to empower.

One just has to look into the wisdom and observation a man had a long time ago.  If you are either a whale or a worm, you still have worth and you matter to society.  Between now and the end of this holiday season, ask what you can do to reverse this trend.

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