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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Friday, July 21, 2006

We are on the brink of a catastrophe in the Middle East, yet dare one say, those in the majority of the West and Europe, indeed those outside the immediate sphere of influence of the violence, couldn't care less.
It's just not a 'reality' to most.
Now those leave Lebanon by the thousands have a different perspective, as do those who live in Israel. They live, work, breathe in the palpable tension that pervades the area. They are on the front line.
But those who's knowledge of events in that area is supplied by news services, can feel secure they're not at risk, in a real sense. There's always the possibility of a suicide mission which could destroy part of one of our major cities, but even that to the majority, is only news.
What defines the common worldwide man on the street these days?
One might suggest it be nothing more than personal needs and desires.
We elect people is a flurry of excitement, expecting a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, and then spend the time remaining in their terms deriding them for not providing these basics. We expect our leaders to be as pure as Caesars wife, and delight in their foibles when they are exposed to have no more than feet of clay, no more exceptional than any one of us might be in such a position of power.
Needs. That's what it all comes down to.
We need a government that makes no mistakes. That increases our economies and our standard of living with little or no input from the individual. We want it handed to us on a plate, for we no longer have the belief that we are capable of improving our lot by stint of individual effort.
We need religious leaders who tell us that our deities approve of bombing the daylights out of innocents, and who condemn those who share not our particular faith.
What makes a young man or woman give up a course of living that would see them graduate university, or having already done so and is now plying their trade, sharing their knowledge, strap on a semtex vest and kill for their 'faith'? Surely it can be attributed only to those who have taught them, and their own personal 'need' to be a part of something bigger than a high-definition television, a good salary, a comfortable life.
We cannot universally condemn those who commit atrocities in the name of their beleifs, for in doing so we would be condemning all our historical figures. Mankind has been led by the nose by their preachers for millennia, and that is a situation that doubtless be later described as part of the 'human condition'.
What we can universally condemn is the apathy of those who sit, and wait for others to find a solution, or even offer an alternative. And that, comes down to you, and I.
When and if this sad community of this world gets off the couch, studies the issues, elects those who are not necissarily the most charismatic but who are certainly espousing actions which will give us direction again, we may see a renaissance of sorts.
When the wants of the individual are fewer, and the needs fewer still, then perhaps we will see a form of harmony. But it would take a massive uprising of those who have, like the one-ton man, lost the will and ability to move, to effect such a change.
We are heading for Armageddon, and unless we work towards a solution, most will see it only on the six o'clock news, and it will, sadly, be a great surprise.

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