What Really Matters?

A woman on Facebook bemoans that she had to ‘settle for’ ground beef to make a meatloaf instead of the ‘lovely steak dinner’ she had planned.  Another complains that there will be no beach vacation this year because “who can afford it with the price of everything, including gas, so high?”  And still another threatens to quit his job so he can “live off welfare and get food stamps like everybody else”.  And my response to all of these and more who are bitching about inflation and the price at the pump is simple:  STFU … SHUT UP!!!

Inflation and rising fuel prices are everywhere, not just in the U.S.  They are not the fault of President Biden or of teachers teaching Critical Race Theory or of the COVID vaccine or mask mandates.  They are a direct result of the war Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin started when he invaded Ukraine on February 24th.  Period.  But more to the point … here in the U.S., despite inflation and gas prices, we are still living quite well.  Unemployment is at an almost all-time low … almost everyone who wants a job has one.  And most of us can still afford to feed our families a healthy diet, pay the rent, keep the electricity on, and still have a bit left over at the end of the month.  I wish we could all focus on that, rather than bemoaning a few extra dollars spent on food or fuel.

More than 200 children have been killed in Ukraine thus far.  Millions of Ukrainians have been forced from their homes.  And around the world, people are going to bed with empty bellies tonight.  And some people want to complain because they have meat loaf instead of steak???  I bet people in Pakistan, Yemen and Morocco would be thrilled to have a meat loaf to eat, or even a fresh loaf of bread.  The millions of Ukrainians who have fled to Poland and other parts of the world would have tears of joy to live in a house with running water, electricity, and even a television!

Sigh.

We are humans and come complete with a full set of human frailties, one of which is that we take our lives for granted.  We take for granted that the sun will rise, that we will have a job, that we can flip a light on, or turn the heat up.  We go to the grocery store and sure, we may gasp at the price of tomatoes or frozen chicken, but we still manage to buy enough food to live healthy lives, to fill our bellies.  When circumstances change ever so slightly, we are upset, we want to blame someone, to lash out.  It’s human nature and I get that.  But what I don’t get is people failing to listen to the conscience that is trying to remind them just how good their life actually is.

I am as guilty as any, for when the electricity was out for a week in 2008, I did my fair share of whining, and when the grocery store is out of my favourite cheese, you might think, looking at my face, that someone had died.  But only for a few moments … until my conscience pricks me and reminds me that compared to so many of the 7.8 billion people in the world, my family and I are so very lucky.

Look at the pictures of the bombed and burned-out apartment buildings in Ukraine, the bodies in the streets, the frightened children.

Imagine if that were what’s left of your home.  See the pictures of the petrified children being torn from their fathers’ arms as they are shuttled to safety elsewhere.  Imagine that is your child.  It doesn’t matter that they aren’t in this country … they are still people, still humans just like you and me.

Yesterday in a comment exchange on Diane Ravitch’s post, one person said what I believe many people are, understandably, thinking.  He said he didn’t want the U.S. or European nations to send planes to President Zelenskyy in Ukraine because it might escalate the situation and then “his people” might be the ones losing their lives.  Yeah, I get that, but I don’t agree.  EVERY life has value, and the lives of people in the U.S. or Portugal or Timbuktu are no more or less important than those of Ukrainians.  Sure, it’s natural for us not to want those lives being lost to be our brother/sister, husband/wife, son/daughter … but neither do the Ukrainians!!!  We are all in this world, on this globe, together.  We are all part of the human species.  NOBODY ever said that Americans or the French have more value than Ukrainians … did they?

Today the hotspot is Ukraine, but tomorrow it might be Brazil, where another dictator, Jair Bolsonaro, is spreading his wings, and ultimately it might very well be here in the United States where right-wing fanatics are worming their way into positions of power, where people’s right to have a voice in government via their vote is being viciously chopped by those who would rule rather than govern.  At that point, will it matter whether it is meatloaf or steak on the table?  Will you care about a beach vacation?  No, you will care, as the people of Ukraine do today, whether you and your family will wake to see another day.  And if we fail our allies today, can we expect them to be there for us when it is we who need help?

77 thoughts on “What Really Matters?

  1. Jill, I agree with you, and a few weeks ago when locals were being a bit hostile at a public meeting, I was thinking about what the Ukraine people were experiencing, and how shallow the petty disagreements truly are.

    Having lots of experience with continent-moving earthquakes, rainy season flooding, landslides, epidemics of dengue/chikungunya, I have learned to appreciate and even embrace the ‘less is more’ lifestyle. But to imagine bombs and missles and hostile people and tanks rolling thru and over one’s beloved land – how does one ever become sane again?
    Will this be the catalyst that brings the human race closer?
    A certain beloved person kept us linked, and now I appreciate the opportunity to be a bit closer, thanks to one more star smiling down on us.
    Love, Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think most people have trouble relating to events that don’t directly affect them, that aren’t in their own backyard, so to speak, so they focus on what DOES affect them and only notice world events in passing. I get that, but … it still seems so shallow, so selfish, to complain about the price of a head of lettuce when people are dying from Russian aggression, from hunger, from lack of shelter or medical care.

      Some have predicted that the war in Ukraine will be that catalyst you mention, the thing that puts an end to the infighting and divisiveness, but frankly, I don’t think so. As time goes on, news coverage will decrease, people won’t pay as much attention, and it won’t matter as much — except, of course, to the Ukrainians and other Eastern Europeans! Sigh.

      Yes, our mutual friend was a great friend, sorely missed tonight.

      Hugs!!!

      Like

      • Yes, and in the meeting I attended, the negative energy was so hostile, and I found myself with those same thoughts, not about a head of lettuce (thankfully produce is cheap here) but how petty for people to be projecting their anger about personal discontent on an entire group, which on the other side of the world, a country and its people were being obliterated. I fear that Putin – if he thinks he’s about to be taken out – will say, ‘If I go, I take the whole world with me.’

        Liked by 1 person

        • One of the problems with the internet and easy access to so much information is … well, two problems really: information overload, and the easy perpetuation of lies. People no longer bother to search for truth, for factual information, because with a click of the mouse they can get an answer to their question. Trouble is, it may not be the correct answer, but they’ll believe it anyway … it’s simpler for them. Or they tune into Fox “News” and believe whatever line of b.s. Tucker Carlson is dishing out. I suspect half of people in their 20s and 30s today don’t know how to use a library! And yes, if Putin is backed into a corner and sees no way out, I have no doubt that he would try to take the rest of the world with him. Fortunately, I think he would be stopped, but it’s still a worry.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: What Really Matters? – Nelsapy

  3. As much as I would like to see the entire NATO fleet strike out eastwards and sweep the skies clean of Russian aircraft and then ground attacking the forces around Mariupol into ruins; for all sorts of reasons it’s not going to happen. Yet.
    For there is always the chance of a tipping point.
    I think there is a post coming on this.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Sorry Jill, I won’t be writing this post. Two days work and effort from the heart have just been wiped out by Word Press’s incompetence.
        Right now I’m too angry to try and revisit it, and doubt if I will be in the mood. A lot of heart and soul went into that.
        Advice: Never trust WP’s platform; write it on Word Doc and save then Copy & Paste.

        Liked by 3 people

        • OH NO!!!! How awful! I’m so sorry that happened, Roger. Ever since the beginning of my blogging days, I have always done my work in Word, then copied & pasted the final product into WordPress … it just seemed simpler to me, and more secure, too. Again … I really am sorry, for I know how much of YOU went into that post. Plus, I was really looking forward to reading it! Sigh. Hang in, my friend. 🌻🌻🌻🌻

          We luffs you, Uncle Woger! 😽😽😽😽😽

          Liked by 2 people

            • In a month, who knows … you may come at it from a different perspective … could end up being a positive thing. Oh yeah, you’re like me … never at a loss for something to do! I’m always puzzled by people who say they are ‘bored’ … what’s that???

              Sadly, because I am nearly deaf, I cannot hear a podcast well enough to know what is being said. 😥

              Liked by 2 people

              • My apologies for sending you that Jill. Sorry. Basically they were analytical about both sides, critical from a professional basis of Russia’s whole approach, but underlined with a note of caution not to wave flags for a Ukrainian Victory parade.
                Thanks for that perspective on the post. The situation is changing every day.

                Like you I have a very unsympathetic approach to folk who claim boredom….they have to be very specific to win my agreement.
                I can remember the last two times I was bored, and that’s over 40 years, and one wasn’t really bored because I spent the whole time trying not to be cross at the person who was inadvertently making me bored.

                Liked by 2 people

                • No need to apologize, Roger! I did try to listen, but just couldn’t make heads nor tails of it. My hearing has gotten even worse and I’m seriously considering trying hearing aids again. I was told long ago they wouldn’t work for me, and when I tried them many decades ago, they really didn’t … they just made everything louder, but no clearer. But, with advances in technology, maybe there is something that would help by now. I lip-read far more than I ever realized.

                  I have great-neices in their 20s who constantly complain of being bored and I have no sympathy … I just tell them to get to the library and check out some books. They’ve learned, at least, not to complain to me! The last time I recall being bored was when I was 10 years old and bed-bound with rheumatic fever, couldn’t do literally anything but lie there and stare at the ceiling. Even when I’m with someone I find boring, my mind goes elsewhere, so I’m really not bored.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Now that would be horrid for a ten year old. Poor young Jill. Yeah, technology has advanced so there may be something, just make sure no one tries to gouge you with the cost.

                    On the boredom ‘thing’, I believe there are some folk who affect it. They like to play at ‘Hey look at me. I am so super-intelligent sophisticated and gifted that this world is just…beneath me,’
                    Why haven’t they invented or written something so very wonderful then?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • I was used to it, for half of my childhood was spent with one illness or another, but that’s when I cultivated a love of reading and ended any future boredom!

                      That’s an interesting take on the boredom ‘thing’ … you may well be right … that air of boredom, of everyone else being so far ‘beneath’ them, of rolling eyes and deep sighs. Heh heh … probably nobody would read anything they wrote!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’ve always been a fighter, my friend. When I was born, my parents were told that I wouldn’t likely live to see my first birthday and the doc recommended that they put me in a “home”. If they had done so, I probably wouldn’t have lived to age 1, let alone the ripe old age of 70!!! I’ve lived my life, not sat around feeling sorry for myself. I’ve made my mistakes, paid for them, and learned from them, but I always tried to do something good, something to … leave the world a little better somehow. A friend recently mentioned having a “Spa day” and my only thought was “Why on earth would I want to waste time sitting in a spa???” I’ve got too much to do and too little time left in which to do it all!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Jill, you are a solid gold hero.
                      These are the first words which came into mind……

                      “I get knocked down, but I get up again
                      You are never gonna keep me down
                      I get knocked down, but I get up again
                      You are never gonna keep me down
                      I get knocked down, but I get up again
                      You are never gonna keep me down
                      I get knocked down, but I get up again
                      You are never gonna keep me down”

                      Extract from Tubthumping by Chumbawamba.

                      The rest of the song is about pub culture and resilience of the british working class so might not fit…..But that opening verse…It’s you Jill

                      Liked by 1 person

  4. I fully agree with you in most things, Jill! But sending military planes to the Ukraine would cause the Third World War. I am sure, because it seems Russia has established his defensive power mostly to nuclear strikes. We only can evacuate as most people as possible (and as want this for themselves). The higher prices are not a must, but a business game of the corporations. Here in Germany we have been paying the world’s highest electricity prices for 20 years, and these are now to be increased again. In such a case, the policy to maintain internal cohesion would immediately carry out forced administration of the former state-owned companies. xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Michael. Are we not already in a world war? The countries of the world have taken sides and are supporting their side. We / NATO are already supplying war supplies of all types including now tanks. How much can the supporters of Ukraine give them before we cross the line to being involved in the situation? What is the old saying in for a penny, in for a pound? If we let Russia make the rules and make all the rules on how much the world can do it or they may let off a nuke, where does it stop? If Russia wants part of the next country and says give it to me or I let off a nuke, do we give in? What about other countries with nukes, do they get to use them for blackmail or extortion? And now every country that did not want nuclear weapons before will now rush to get them because they see that is the only deterrent left and with them they can blackmail the world. For those dictator strongmen that have no nuclear weapons but have nuclear plants near borders do they win by demanding something from the neighbor or they let the plant melt down? Biden is ordering a lot more new spending for the US military to get more nuclear weapons, but that won’t stop the blackmail / extortion will it? The only thing that will is to stand up and tell the country threatening to use weapons of mass destruction that if they do it is the end of that leader / government. That the entire world will not tolerate it. And mean it. That is the only real deterrent that stops a blackmail / extortionist, because if you give in to them you show them it works and they keep doing what works for them.
      Best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Scottie, Sigh. The world is in a mess and those who invented nuclear weapons back in the 1940s doubled the mess. I have no answers to the current situation in Ukraine, but I know that it would be unconscionable for us to simply allow Putin to keep on killing.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You make valid points, Michael, but … I just don’t think we can afford to allow fear to rule our actions. In truth, a 3rd World War would likely destroy surface life on the planet and perhaps that would be a quicker, less painful way to end the human species than continuing to ignore the effects of climate change and dying a slow, painful death due to lack of oxygen, water, and food. (Don’t mind me, I’m just in a dark mood today) I don’t know what the answer is, but we simply cannot allow Russia to take over Ukraine, to keep killing. And after Ukraine, what’s Putin’s next goal? Poland? Eventually your own country? When do we finally say, “ENOUGH” and rid the world of its Putins, Orbans, Bolsanaros, Trumps, and Jong-uns? Sigh. xx

      Liked by 2 people

  5. “They [higher prices] are a direct result of the war Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin started when he invaded Ukraine on February 24th.  Period.”  
    Hate to disagree with you, Jill, but prices were going up, at least in Canada, since the start of the pandemic. They took another surge with the tanker blocking the Suez Canal. Then (in your nation and mine) they rose again because of the Truckers’ Convoy blocking major border crossing between our nations for three weeks.
    But even those do not tell the real story of higher prices. The real reason for the upswing in prices is the price-gouging by wholesale and retail suppliers of goods, not to mention the producers of most of those goods. BUT, I am not talking about farmers and small manufacturers, I am talking about the BIG CORPORATIONS that control most of the production of goods and services. And the war was just another reason to raise prices even higher. Those corporations take advantage of every opportunity to say something else caused the price hikes. Their GREED is the main cause, and thst is my PERIOD!
    QUESTION:Who do you think is making huge profits providing the weapons and ammunition sent by everyone in the “west” to Uraine? I doubt I have to tell you who I am talking about. There are only so many weapons manufacturers in the world. I am betting every one of them is making money hand and fist right now. They want the war to last as long as possible. THEY are the real reason no one is giving Ukraine the help they need to end this war!

    Liked by 3 people

    • The pandemic actually lowered gas prices for a time, as the demand was so low, but then as restrictions began being removed, people began driving and flying more, and the price naturally went up again. You are right, though, that the oil companies and other producers of goods have put profit over people and are using the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine as an excuse to increase their own profits. And yes, the arms manufacturers are also making huge, unconscionable profits. Until we start taxing not only their profits, but their wealth, this will continue to be the status quo and it seems that far too many in this country just don’t care.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hmmm, seems the price of gas was handled differently in our nations. Because less gas was being sold here, the price never went down, only up. They were trying to make the same amount of profit on fewer sales. As for food, the food industry held back on the supply of food so people would have to pay more for less. Meat prices doubled over the course of the pandrmic, and are rising again because of the war. Artificial Inflation! And nothing we, the people, can do about it.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Interesting! Yes, the price per barrel and thus the price at the pumps decreased when demand went down and there was excess supply. Then, when people started driving again, they began to raise the price, and then … Russia invaded Ukraine and the CEOs of the big oil companies saw an opportunity … an excuse, really, since the price per barrel is down, yet the price at the pump rose. Some grocery prices increased here, but as I was preparing my online grocery order earlier this evening, I noticed that chicken and ground beef (about the only two meats I buy) had come down to where they were a year or so ago. Some of it is, in fact, artificial inflation as you say, but some is genuine, such as products with wheat or other grains that now have a shortage due to the war.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. We have had decades to sort out a sustainable, ethical and secure energy policy. Those in charge decided not go the other way. Short term thinking, protecting profits, outside interference, political stupidity. In Britain we clearly have a compromised Government. These are dangerous times.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yep, and the scientists have been warning us for decades now about fossil fuels and the environment, but do we listen? Sigh. It’s not only your country, my friend, but most western nations. If I had to pick a worst offender, it would be the U.S. Indeed, these are dangerous times … we are going backward it so often seems to me. I fear for the future.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree all the way. But you know what worries me when I look at this bumblings of our Government is the nagging thought at the back of my mind ‘It could always be worse, y’know,’…..Boris might have a rock solid support from all of the Conservative Party…’He’s behind you Boris,’

      Liked by 1 person

  7. if you tell people that high fuel prices are the fault of Russia, you’re misleading them because prices started going up as soon as joseph F. biden killed the keystone pipeline.

    If you believe said bullshit about fuel prices being the fault of Russia, then you’re just a stupid moronic idiot. End of story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alright, Scott. I hope that calling me a “stupid, moronic idiot” has made you feel better. Sadly, you missed the whole point of my post, but then I guess you were too busy thinking of names to call me.

      Liked by 2 people

    • And that is the crux of your argument. Straightforward abuse. No analytical examination, no comparative figures concerning the effects of Biden’s action on Keystone, against the invasion of the Ukraine.
      Now considering you’ve cited Biden’s action as the main issue but by default excused Russia, then I have to assume you are one of those narrow-minded folk who are so locked into opposition to the Democrats that you are against whatever they say as a knee-jerk reaction. Thus as far as you are there is nothing wrong with Russia’s action, really, because they were ‘provoked’? Your response reminds me of some of my hometown UK’s Left who are wriggling to try and find any words no matter how slim to cover Putin’s actions, simply because the UK Government is against him.
      This sort of response lacks any moral compass, cares not for suffering of others, and serves by default the dictators of this world. I find the whole notion repugnant, arguments so shallow that quite frankly dismissing you is of no more effort than swatting a small annoying insect……And I didn’t even let my coffee get cold…..
      In my sweeping generalisation you have thus been served up a dose of your own medicine. Only with more eloquence.
      You’ve been profiled. Well and truly profiled. Annoying isn’t it?

      Liked by 2 people

    • GET REAL ALREADY. The high fuel prices are because of the greed of the oil companies. It has nothing to do with killing the pipeline project with wouldn’t have affected the cost of the gas going into your gas-guzzler one bit.

      Liked by 4 people

        • I am so glad that I don’t live there and have to endure conversations like these! sigh, You’re a good woman – don’t get weary. As a tarpon fishing guide once said to me, “Lisa, you rest, the fish rests…” (it was a catch and release trip, of importance to my niece and nephew, but I was soooo tired of trying to reel in that fish!) His advice, however, applies to many topics…

          Liked by 1 person

          • Believe me when I say that there are many days I wish I didn’t live here. I often consider leaving, but frankly I don’t have the resources to do so, and when it comes down to it, I think I still have a bit of fight left in me and am hopeful that with my writing I am able to make a small difference. Ha ha … I love that advice by the fishing guide and you’re so right … it can be applied to so many situations!

            Like

    • Hello Scott. What Biden killed was the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone Pipeline system consists of the operational Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III, the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project. That was to be a fourth, proposed pipeline expansion segment Phase IV. That pipeline never carried a drop of oil. However that oil is still coming to the US by other means, trucks for example. Opening that pipeline wouldn’t have helped the US gas priced as NRDC and its partners also found the majority of Keystone XL oil would have been sent to markets overseas. It simply was not coming here for US consumption. It was / still is going to the gulf coast for eventual shipping overseas. Profit over people. Add to that leaked conference calls from oil company executives where they claimed these high prices were what their shareholders have been waiting for and there was no way they would increase supply and risk the profit they are making now. That was their words. So closing the Keystone XL and stopping the sales of new leases on protected lands has nothing to do with the current price hikes. It is pure greed and price gouging.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Hello Jill. I have an advantage most people do not. Not only do I love politics and news, preferring to watch / read stuff about those subjects than more entertaining fare, but I have the time to indulge my interests. Most people do not have the option to wade through the broadcasts and news reports I do. I feel lucky to be able to keep as informed as I do. But please do not sell your own ability to inform people short. I often find stuff in your posts I miss in other places. You do grand work and I hope you will continue to improve our understanding of things for a long time in the future. Thanks.

          Liked by 1 person

          • You’re quite right, Scottie … time is a luxury for most people. I troll the news for several hours a day, but still don’t always have the grasp on things that you do, or that I would like to have. Bottom line is we can’t all catch everything, so that’s why together we all make a part of a great team! Thanks for your kind words, my friend! Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello Jill. Thank you for a well written post that expresses what so many want to say. Too many times we all forget the world is a small place now and our countries are interconnected. We live in a global economy as the supply chains showed us. Maybe no we will understand what hurts our fellow hurts us also. The hardships others face could be the ones we face one day. We need to help others as we hope they will help us in our need. I regret I will not live long enough to see the day we see the things we have in common rather than the things that separate us. Hugs

    Liked by 5 people

    • and NATO WOULD SUPPLY THE PLANES THAT POLAND HAS OFFERED, TO CLEAR THGE SKIES OF Russian bombers so Putin has to negotiate a real peace and people can head home again.tHOUGH IT WILL TAKE YEARS TO REBUILD ALL THOSE HOMES EVEN IF THERE ARE REPARATIONS FROM RUSSIA AS THERE SHOULD BE.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Agreed … I would like to see NATO step in, despite the fact that Ukraine is not a member, and I would certainly like to see the U.S. send the planes and whatever else is needed to stop the aerial bombings by Russia! It will take years, and my fear is that Putin will continue to find ways to make life harder for Ukrainians. Best solution is get Putin out of office one way or another. But then, there’s the question of who or what follows him? Sigh. There are no simple solutions, I fear.
        Cwtch

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hello Jill. Was watching CNN and retired General Clark was saying that NATO needs to get ships into the Black Sea to stop the bombardment Odesa from the water as the Ukrainians have no defense for that. He was saying that west couldn’t afford to let Russia take the city, that with it Russia could control the Black Sea. That is the cliff notes, he went into a lot of detail, but I cannot remember them all right now. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

          • I think he’s right. And I don’t think that Ukraine is Putin’s ultimate goal, but merely a stepping stone on his path to building a new Soviet empire. Next up? Probably Poland, then perhaps Germany. He must be stopped NOW! Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Amen Jill! You took the words out of my mouth! We are so spoiled here, myself included! Breaks my heart about Ukraine, I just want to hug all the children close and can’t imagine the pain of being separated from your child, not knowing if and when you will see them again!! 💔💔

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    • It’s all about perspective, my friend. Relative to so many in the world, we are living in luxury! Yes, it breaks my heart too … I want to do something, but aside from a few small donations, there isn’t much I can do. 💔💔

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      • We do what we can Jill….
        New Testament Mark 12 41-44:
        “[41] Then he sat down opposite the offering box, and watched the crowd putting coins into it. Many rich people were throwing in large amounts. [42] And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. [43] He called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. [44] For they all gave out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.”

        Liked by 3 people

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