The next presidential election is in just under 20 months, but you’d think it was next week if you looked at the news! 90% of the front page stories have the ‘T-word’ or the ‘DeS-word’ and an alien just dropping in from another universe would be forgiven for thinking the United States is a looney bin! I tried to avoid every story that was, indirectly or directly, about the election and the two top Republican contenders, which left me only with news of China’s President Xi’s visit to Russia for a photo op. Okay, so let’s just have a few of the political cartoons I’ve been collecting for this afternoon, as I really don’t feel up to digging any deeper to try to find some actual news.
Tag Archives: war in Ukraine
Sunday Morning Political Humour
I thought a good way to start out this Sunday morning would be with a few of the week’s most spot-on political cartoons, followed by a humorous monologue by one of my favourites, Seth Meyers. I’ll get back to you later with the serious stuff, but for now, have a few chuckles with your morning coffee or tea …
A few nights ago I stumbled across this video of one of my favourite comedians, Seth Meyers …
Some New Year’s Toons
What better way to welcome in a new year than with some New Year’s ‘toons? The poor li’l baby 2023 doesn’t know what he’s let himself in for!
And now, it’s time to take the tree down, vacuum up the pine needles, and curl up with a good book and tune out the world for a day! Well, okay, maybe only for a couple of hours, during which time I’ll probably fall asleep!
What follows is a repeat of my 2016 New Year post … a time when Obama was still president and we were all certain that television buffoon couldn’t possibly become the next president, though we wished he would just sit down and shut up. I considered writing a new post this year to ring in the new year, to opine on the current status quo, but I think the 2016 post says just about what I would say today, so … why re-invent the wheel? Anyway, I’ve got cooking to do for tonight’s New Year’s Eve bash (just the 3 of us and a quiet night at home, but still a special family time.) So with that, I wish you all a safe and happy New Year!
I do not quite understand why it is, but most of us welcome in the new year with great hope for the next 365 days, almost as if we believe that the slate we were using for the past 365 days was wiped clean at the exact moment the ball hit bottom in Times Square, and we are now starting afresh with new hopes, new dreams, a clean slate on which to write a new story, a better one. Okay, okay … I am not going to be a the one to dash those dreams, those ethereal images that you are seeing with such joy. Life will see to that soon enough, probably when you awaken in the morning and turn on the news, pick up the morning newspaper, or boot up the computer.
Do you make resolutions at New Year’s? I do not, so I am always curious about people who do. Oh sure, I hope that I can do better at certain things than I have in the past, but that is pretty much a daily hope of mine. Do people who do make resolutions start thinking about their resolutions a week in advance? A month? I once had a friend who made his resolution on the morning of January 1st … same resolution every year … when he awakened with a massive hangover and resolved then and there to quit drinking, effective immediately. His resolution usually lasted for about 12 hours. Have you ever made a resolution and actually kept it throughout the year? I don’t think I personally know anybody whose resolution was anything other than a dim memory by January 31st, so I am curious if some people who do make resolutions actually do manage to keep to them.
I do not make resolutions, but I think about, based on the past year, what the year 2016 might bring. It would be lovely, and I am sure some say this is their hope for the new year, to think that within the next twelve months we will see peace and prosperity around the world, an end to wars in the Middle East, an end to racism and bigotry in our own nation, more love and tolerance, less hatred toward our fellow man, and an end to the highly annoying facebook memes that attempt to compress complex socio-political issues into a single sentence. Who wouldn’t love to see an end to ISIS, Boko Haram, al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations? These are dreams we could all share, even if we are divided on who should be the next president of the U.S. But sadly, just like the person who buys a lottery ticket and goes to bed dreaming of a new home, a new car, and telling his boss “I quit”, when we look back a year from now, I am pretty sure those problems will still exist, others will have joined them, and people will still be … well, human.
Filosofa is not a cynic, contrary to what you may think. I am actually known in my circle of friends as quite the optimist … annoyingly to some. But I am a pragmatist, a realist, and as such I do not live in a world of dreams. One of the readers of this blog commented yesterday that we need to say to ourselves, “okay, the world is a mess … now how do we fix it?” I like that attitude. So, while I do not make resolutions, I do have hopes. Unlike hopes for world peace, an end to all war, etc., my hopes are that people will start asking themselves “what can I do to make the world a little bit better?” And then start looking for answers. The answers are all around you, if you just realize what the question is. Many years ago, my answer to this question was, and still is, to treat everybody as human beings. These days, I try to make a difference by writing, in hopes that I might be able to make just one person think about things that matter. Most of us, realistically, are not in a position to bring about world peace. We cannot all be Mother Teresa or Gandhi. We cannot all be leaders of nations. But we can make small differences within our own small spheres of influence, in our community, in our neighborhood. We can volunteer one day a month at a homeless shelter or food pantry, we can help a neighbor who is struggling, we can donate unwanted clothing or food items to the poor. We can find ways to fight violence without resorting to more violence. We can talk a little bit nicer to people, say “good morning” and “thank you so much” to the young person who bags our groceries. Think that doesn’t make a difference? Think again.
So my hope for the new year is that we all try very hard to find the small things that we can do to help people we come into contact with every day. No, it will not end the conflict in Syria, it will not eradicate Iran’s enriched uranium supply, and it will not remove Donald Trump from the presidential race, but a lot of little deeds add up to making the world just a little bit better. You can be part of the problem or you can be part of the solution … your choice.
In closing, I wish each and every one of you a year of peace within your own family and circle of friends, good health and that you be able to meet all of your needs. Happy New Year!
A Conservative Voice … With Reason!
It is rare that I will post the words of a conservative commentator these days, but there are a few exceptions. Bill Kristol is a conservative, but an intelligent man with a conscience, one who is not your typical “maga” sort of Republican we see so much of today. His post for the New Year crossed my radar and I want to share it with you, for while he is fully cognizant of the problems facing the world today, he also sees hope arising from the past 12 months. Take a look …
A (Surprisingly) Happy New Year
2022 was better than expected; 2023 is key.
30 December 2022
A year ago, as we approached New Year’s Day 2022, things seemed grim.
Things were grim.
At home, Donald Trump was ascendant in the Republican party. Elise Stefanik’s Dear Leader sycophancy and Big Lie enthusiasm seemed to be the future. Liz Cheney’s truth-telling seemed to be the past. And it seemed that no one of any prominence would pay a price for January 6th. President Biden’s approval ratings were plummeting and a Democratic Congress was not producing legislation. A red wave for an unredeemed Republican party looked likely.
Confidence in the U.S. abroad had been damaged by the Afghanistan withdrawal. Vladimir Putin was threatening Ukraine and looked like a good bet to topple the Ukrainian government and partition the country. The mullahs’ grip in Iran appeared unchallenged as they continued to progress toward nuclear weapons. America was divided at both the elite and popular levels, the country uncertain of its global role—still apparently reeling from Trump’s presidency, but not yet strengthened by Biden’s.
The new year in 2022 was not a particularly happy one.
But politics, like life, does not proceed in a straight line.
Things turned around.
Actually, let me retract that last sentence—because it suggests fatalism and a lack of human agency concerning important events, which is both untrue and demoralizing.
It was people—both extraordinary leaders and ordinary folk—who turned things around in 2022.
At the end of 2022, Putin is still Putin. The mullahs are still the mullahs. Trump is still Trump. Those actors have not changed.
But the world around them changed because of the struggles and successes of those who fought for democracy and for freedom.
Volodomyr Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine stood heroically firm. The Iranian people bravely rose up. At home, the American electorate rejected the worst of the election deniers and continued its rebuke of Trumpism for the third straight election. Congress passed a fair amount of reasonable legislation, including the Electoral Count Act. The January 6th Committee conducted itself seriously and honorably and in the course of its work documented a great deal of important evidence which was not previously known. Partly as a consequence of their labors—which were dismissed both early and late as being obscure and inconsequential—the Department of Justice now seems likely to try to enforce some accountability not just for the foot soldiers, but for the leaders of the insurrection. And for Donald Trump.
What happened in 2022 was as remarkable as it was unexpected. And as a result, we enter 2023 in better shape than we could have reasonably hoped a year ago.
Because—and this is the key part—people did not accept the reasonable expectations. They fought and organized and worked. They bent the curve of the future.
Perhaps we will one day look back at 2022 not just as a lucky bending of the curve, but as an inflection point—as a true Zeitenwende, to use the term invoked by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
But we don’t know. More to the point, we can’t know. Nothing about the future—nothing about 2023—is inevitable.
It’s equally possible that we could look back on 2022 as a bear market rally for democracy. That we will one day judge it to have been a false dawn, a brief surge of democratic willpower and energy on behalf of freedom that peters out in the face of the illiberal forces arrayed against it.
But the successes of 2022 have given those who care about liberty and democracy, about human decency and human dignity, a fighting chance in 2023.
In 2022 democracy and liberty didn’t just hold the line—they gained some ground. The defenders of liberalism fought back more effectively than the last decade suggested they were capable of doing.
What comes next will be the product not just of implacable forces, but the choices and actions of real people. Some of those people will be consequential and their choices will be seen by the world. You will know—or learn—their names. The vast majority will not be. Many of the choices will be made by ordinary people, acting individually or collectively, often in quiet—but important—ways.
Will Trump be further weakened by the end of 2023? Will demagoguery and authoritarianism be pushed back both in America and across the globe? Will Ukraine win? Will Putin remain in power? Will the Iranian people topple the mullahs?
There are unexpected opportunities for 2023. But they need to be followed through on, not frittered away.
So now is no time for celebration. To use a World War II analogy, we’ve survived Dunkirk, the Blitz and Pearl Harbor—but much damage has been done, the enemies of liberalism remain formidable, and we’ve only just begun the effort to regain ground. Even if victory is possible, there is a long and difficult road ahead.
Perhaps Churchill’s 1941 Christmas Eve address from the White House, where he was visiting Roosevelt, is apt.
“Let the children have their night of fun and laughter,” he remarked. And “Let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasure.”
But Churchill added that, after sharing that moment of pleasure, we will have to “turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us, resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world.”
This isn’t World War II, of course. But it is the challenge of our time. And history will judge us on whether we meet it.
The Day Zelenskyy Came To Town
David Brooks, who has been called both a conservative and a moderate, is a journalist for the New York Times since 2003, and a moderate, a man of common sense and reasonableness, of intellect and integrity. I know that some of my readers don’t much care for him or his views, but I do, and I think his latest piece is well worth sharing and pondering. I have wondered more than once what the U.S. response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine would have been if it had happened during Donald Trump’s term in office. I shudder to think.
Biden’s America Finds Its Voice
22 December 2022
The cameras mostly focused on Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his address to Congress on Wednesday night, but I focused my attention as much as I could on the audience in the room. There was fervor, admiration, yelling and whooping. In a divided nation, we don’t often get to see the Congress rise up, virtually as one, with ovations, applause, many in blue dresses and yellow ties.
Sure, there were dissenters in the room, but they were not what mattered. Words surged into my consciousness that I haven’t considered for a while — compatriots, comrades, co-believers in a common creed.
Zelenskyy and his fellow Ukrainians have reminded Americans of the values and causes we used to admire in ourselves — the ardent hunger for freedom, the deep-rooted respect for equality and human dignity, the willingness to fight against brutal authoritarians who would crush the human face under the heel of their muddy boots. It is as if Ukraine and Zelenskyy have rekindled a forgotten song, and suddenly everybody has remembered how to sing it.
Zelenskyy was not subtle about making this point. He said that what Ukraine is fighting for today has echoes in what so many Americans fought for over centuries. I thought of John Adams, Frederick Douglass, Theodore Roosevelt, George Marshall, Fannie Lou Hamer, the many unsung heroes of the Cold War. His words reminded us that America supports Ukraine not only out of national interest — to preserve a stable liberal world order — but also to live out a faith that is essential to this country’s being and identity. The thing that really holds America together is this fervent idea.
This liberal ideal has been tarnished over the last six decades. Sometimes America has opposed authoritarianism with rash imprudence — the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Iraq. Other times, America has withdrawn behind its ocean barriers and done little while horror unfolded — the genocide in Rwanda, the civil war in Syria, the failure during the Obama and Trump administrations to support Ukraine sufficiently as Putin tested the waters and upped the pressure.
American policy has oscillated between a hubristic interventionism and a callous non-interventionism. “We overdo our foreign crusades, and then we overdo our retrenchments, never pausing in between, where an ordinary country would try to reach a fine balance,” George Packer wrote in The Atlantic recently. The result has been a crisis of national self-doubt: Can the world trust America to do what’s right? Can we believe in ourselves?
Finding the balance between passionate ideals and mundane practicalities has been a persistent American problem. The movie “Lincoln” with Daniel Day-Lewis was about that. Lincoln is zigging and zagging through the swamps of reality, trying to keep his eye on true north, while some tell him he’s going too fast and others scream he’s going too slow.
Joe Biden has struck this balance as well as any president in recent times, perhaps having learned a costly lesson from the heartless way America exited from Afghanistan. He has swung the Western alliance fervently behind Ukraine. But he has done it with prudence and calibration. Ukraine will get this weapons system, but not that one. It can dream of total victory, but it also has to think seriously about negotiations. Biden has shown that America can responsibly lead. He has shown you can have moral clarity without being blinded by it.
Both Zelenskyy and Biden have been underestimated. Zelenskyy had been a comedian and so people thought he was a lightweight. He dresses like a regular guy and eschews the trappings of power that obsess people like Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
For his part, Biden doesn’t fit the romantic “West Wing” fantasy that many progressives have in their heads. A progressive president should be delivering soaring, off-the cuff speeches that make you feel good about yourself!
But the truth is that both men have delivered again and again. The military struggle in Ukraine might turn grim in the coming months, but both men are partly responsible for a historic shift in the global struggle against brutality and authoritarianism.
A few years ago, democracies seemed to be teetering and authoritarians seemed to be on the march. But since, we’ve had heroic resistance from Kyiv and steady leadership in the White House. As I look at the polls and the midterm results, I see Americans building an anti-Trump majority, which at least right now seems to make it far less likely Trump will ever be president again.
Meanwhile events have shown — yet again — that you can’t run a successful society if you centralize power, censor knowledge and treat your people like slaves. The Times’s awe-inspiring reporting on the Russian war effort shows how pervasive the rot there is. China’s shambolic Covid policies are just one example of the truth that authoritarians can seem impressive for a season, but eventually error, rigidity and failures of human judgment accumulate.
On his first foreign trip since the war began, Zelenskyy came to America. It’s a reminder that for all the talk of American decline, the world still needs American leadership. It’s a reminder that the liberal alliance is still strong. It’s a reminder that while liberal democracies blunder, they have the capacity to learn and adapt.
Finally, Zelenskyy reminded us that while the authoritarians of the world have shown they can amass power, there is something vital they lack: a vision of a society that preserves human dignity, which inspires people to fight and binds people to one another.
If you’re interested, and have 12 minutes to spare, here is the PBS News Hour discussion with David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart from yesterday.
Chain of Thoughts
My blogging friend PeNdantry, of Wibble fame, published a very short post a few days ago that led to a chain of thoughts, introspections, and ultimately this post. But first … PeNdantry’s post …
Inextricable by PeNdantry
Indeed, my friends, we ARE all linked in one way or another. Certainly our first concerns are those with whom we have a special bond – family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. But beyond that … are ‘Americans’ really more special than, say, Ugandans? No … we are all humans with the exact same needs and basically the same weaknesses and strengths. A hundred or more years ago, one could be forgiven for failing to understand that, but in today’s world where technology has shrunken the world, it is inexcusable. What we do has ramifications around the globe in ways that were not even thought of 100 years ago.
The ’America First’ policy that we first heard about under the former administration was garbage. There is no reason to believe that the people of any one nation are in any way superior to those of another nation. I know you’re all tired of hearing me say that Black or white, straight or gay, religious or atheist, it does not matter … but I’m gonna keep saying it because far too many people still aren’t getting the message!
Recently I heard the argument that we should stop sending aid to Ukraine because “there are people going hungry here in the U.S.” Right, well then … let’s make the wealthy people pay their fair share of taxes and legislate laws to help feed the hungry, provide medical care for those who need it, etc., and meanwhile we can continue to help Ukraine fend off the brutal attacks by an egomaniacal dictator. But no … the very people griping about sending aid to Ukraine support tax cuts for the wealthy and scream at the tops of their lungs about helping the poor! Hypocrisy at its finest.
In the past two days, since the successful prisoner swap that brought basketball player Brittney Griner home, people have been up in arms that she was released and not Paul Whelan. The negotiations for the two were entirely different, and the U.S. did not have the resources Putin required to free Paul Whelan. Negotiations continue, and hopefully he, too, will soon be on his way home, but why the hell are people so angry that Ms. Griner was freed? Oh yeah … she’s Black, while Whelan is white. She’s a woman, where Whelan is a man. And she’s gay, while Whelan is straight. Three strikes against her in the eyes of the bigots.
While America worships its top 1% of wealthy people, panders to the wealthy corporations, and chooses to ignore much of the rest of the world, nature is struggling to survive. The environmental issues take a back seat to most everything else. After the massive Keystone Pipeline leak three days ago, the top news was the World’s Cup soccer tournaments and Kyrsten Sinema leaving the Democratic Party. The only two places I found news of the pipeline spill were the UK’s The Guardian and the Associated Press (AP). Someday, probably sooner than later, the environment that everyone is putting on the back burner will become the great equalizer. Those with billions of dollars will not be any better off than those of us who live payday to payday. The petty politics of the day will not only take a backseat, but will likely be meaningless drivel.
Stop for a minute today. Look at the people you see. Are they really any different than you? There are now over 8 billion people on Planet Earth … each and every one matters, not just the white ones, and not just the American ones, not just the straight ones and not just the male ones … ALL OF THEM MATTER!
A Surprising Voice From A Conservative
Keith pointed me in the right direction on this one, telling me about Henry Olsen’s latest OpEd in The Washington Post. I read Olsen’s work only occasionally, for I typically disagree with him on most things, but he really surprised me on this one, and in the best of ways. What Olsen writes here is proof that there ARE moderate Republicans/conservatives who are not so deeply partisan that they cannot see the forest for the trees.
Biden deserves props for his masterful Ukraine policy
17 November 2022
This week’s report that a Russian-made missile had fallen in Poland, a NATO ally, could have increased tensions with Russia and even led to direct conflict between the belligerent nation and the Western alliance. The fact that it didn’t casts a light on one of the year’s underreported stories: how masterfully the Biden administration has handled the Ukraine crisis.
Some of my fellow conservatives will strenuously disagree with this assessment. In their telling, the United States has no essential national security interest in a free and democratic Ukraine. President Biden’s decision to send massive amounts of military aid to the nation unnecessarily risked war with nuclear-armed Russia. And his decision to join our European allies in imposing severe economic sanctions on Russia is harming our economy, too.
But that ignores the key fact: America’s primary national security interest is to keep our potential enemies far away from our shores, and the least costly and most effective way of doing that is to assemble a network of allies across the globe. We take interest in their security objectives; they, in turn, assist us in obtaining ours.
Biden understood from the start of the conflict in Ukraine that our European allies in NATO viewed Russian designs very differently. Our allies in Eastern Europe, such as Poland, feared they would be next if NATO allowed Ukraine to be conquered. Our allies in Western Europe, such as Germany and France, also feared an aggressive Russia but thought that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be bought off with his country’s extensive economic ties with their countries. Balancing those views was the most important principle animating U.S. policy in the run-up to the invasion.
Thus came Biden’s elegant two-step: First, he warned the world that the invasion was coming and that there would be serious consequences if Russia went through with it. Second, he let Germany and France take the diplomatic lead, giving them the opportunity to prove that their assessments of Putin were correct. Biden also chose not to rush massive amounts of arms to Ukraine, an act that would have given Putin a pretext for the invasion he had already decided to launch. Being too quick to provide weapons also would have harmed Biden’s ability to rally recalcitrant allies in an anti-Russian cordon.
This dance worked perfectly. The Eastern allies knew we shared their fears, and the Western allies were shocked into action after their views about Putin proved dangerously naive. This gave Biden massive credibility to shape the alliance’s actions regarding Russia.
As a result, the economic sanctions the U.S.-led grouping levied were far more severe than almost any observer would have thought possible beforehand. And the military aid the alliance provided has been much more lethal than any that had been contemplated just a year ago. Ukraine now has the upper hand in a war against a foe three times as large. That’s all due to Biden’s superb diplomacy.
This maneuvering has also created collateral behaviors that redound to U.S. security. European powers had been leery of confronting China before Russia’s invasion, weakening the United States’ ability to contain its primary security threat. Now, with Chinese President Xi Jinping tacitly supporting Russia, Europe no longer sees China as a benign power. Even though many European elites resent America for its sometimes overbearing diplomatic manner and military swagger, they also know they share more values with the United States than they ever could with an autocratic Russo-Chinese axis. They are now likelier to back our initiatives to reduce China’s economic and diplomatic influence.
None of this was preordained. A U.S. president whose primary goal was to prevent confrontation with Russia might have been inclined to cut a deal with Putin that effectively gave him what he wanted, pushing Europe further into a strategy of appeasement. A president who intended to confront Russia might have involved the United States too deeply in Ukraine, alienating our allies and setting up the potential for a direct military clash between superpowers. Biden’s middle course avoided these missteps and set the United States up to reap massive benefits.
Biden will have to keep this balanced approach as the war continues. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would like to see the United States and NATO involve themselves more directly in his war, which is why he was quick to argue that his country was not responsible for the missile that fell in Poland. But the more territory Ukraine retakes, the closer it gets to the territory Russia seized in 2014. We now know Putin will not risk war with the West over Kherson or Zaporizhzhia. He might feel differently if a U.S.-armed Ukraine threatens to retake Crimea.
But those concerns are in the future. For now, it appears that Biden has reinvigorated NATO and brought the Europeans closer to our views on China. That’s cause for celebration across the partisan divide.
If GOP MAGAs Gain House Majority, It’ll Be Pay-back Time Leaving Little Time For Lawmaking
I know most of us will be glad when Election 2022 is behind us, and certainly we’re all hoping for the best possible outcome. In today’s post, our friend Gronda explains what the Republicans have in store if they are the victors at the end of the day, and it’s not a pretty picture. Thanks, Gronda, for sharing your prescient views.
The state of US democracy is in serious peril /Daryl Cagle / politicalcartoons.com
The following scenario is a conservative depiction of what voters can expect if GOP MAGAs gain a majority position in the US House of Representatives, post the November 2022 elections:
GOP MAGAs supporters of the defeated ex-president have started making demands on GOP MAGA lawmakers if they gain a majority position in the US Congress, like exacting retribution against everyone on the GOP MAGA defeated ex-president’s enemies list. In most cases the GOP MAGA voters are basing their commands on lies like the 2020 election was stolen from their leader by fraudulent means by the Democratic Party POTUS Joe Biden, that the ex-president’s trusted associates like the VP Mike Pence and the Justice Department’s head Mr. Bill Barr failed to do their jobs to keep their leader in power, that the US congressional GOP MAGA leaders like…
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Reflections and Perspective
I don’t know why, but a few things of late have made me do some thinking. It started with Hurricane Ian and our friend Scottie’s post about the damage he and Ron had suffered. Roger and I were chatting in comments about how insignificant our own problems suddenly seemed as compared to what the survivors of the hurricane were going through.
Earlier that day, I had been nattering because as I was trying to get something that was at the back of the refrigerator, my arm accidentally knocked a small tub of sauce off the fridge shelf and onto the floor, where the lid separated from the container and left a nice little puddle of sweet ‘n sour sauce for me to clean up. I cursed a bit and pondered aloud why things couldn’t just go right. And then … I caught my self … I stopped dead in my tracks and said, “Oh shit … I should be thankful that I have so much in my fridge that this could happen. I should be grateful that I have a fridge and electricity to power it! What the hell am I whining about???”
We humans, it seems, are an insulated lot. Sure, we (at least most of us) feel empathy for those who are in trying circumstances, but at the end of the day, we’re more concerned with our own convenience. Last night, I popped into Facebook and saw a post by a friend bemoaning that her new living room furniture was supposed to have been delivered but there was a delay. She was “not happy”, so her hubby took her out to her favourite restaurant as a consolation. Most people commented with commiseration over her delayed furniture, or about how wonderful her hubby is (he really is a great guy), but my thoughts were … shouldn’t you just be thankful that you can afford new furniture when some people don’t even have furniture, old or new? And then, I realized that I, too, would have been grouchy and whiny had I been in her shoes. And it made me ashamed of myself.
Are we really so insular that we cannot see how petty most of our own problems are? Does it matter that the cat knocked over the flowerpot, or grease spilled onto the stove burner, when compared to women in Iran being slaughtered for protesting an archaic, misogynistic dress code, or people in Ukraine being left homeless after Russian bombs destroyed their houses, or worse yet, mourning their child who was killed when a bomb hit?
Perspective. I frequently diss on the wealthy, for they cannot see, will not see, how the rest of us live. They live a life of luxury in their ivory towers while we commoners struggle to pay our bills and put food on the table. But, in some sense, don’t we all do the same? I live in a small rented townhouse that to me is a pain, because we have lived here for 24 years and have accumulated so much ‘stuff’ that we’ve basically outgrown it, but … how many people are sharing a makeshift shelter with a dozen other people tonight, hoping it doesn’t rain and wash their shelter downriver? How many people are living in tents made of cardboard boxes under highway overpasses tonight? I had chicken with veggies and rice for supper tonight … how many people had naught more than a scant bowl of rice or a piece of bread?
‘Wealth’ is relative … and relative to so many others, you and I are wealthy. Yes, there are those who have far more than we do, but … there are more who have far less than we. I’m not trying to sound ‘preachy’ at all … this is simply my own reflection of how much I have, how lucky I am, and how often I take it all for granted. I think I need to learn a bit of humility, need to remember more often to reflect on what I have, need to put my everyday frustrations into perspective. My needs are met, my ‘wants’ are mostly met … life will always be filled with minor frustrations, but that is exactly what they are … minor frustrations.
I shall try to do better.