I was outside a few minutes ago, gathering the dishes from last night’s raccoon-possum-party-fest.
There are four different stations that I set out the dishes in and so my daily routine of gathering dishes, washing dishes, and then setting them back out again, leaves a well-worn path across the wilderness otherwise known as my back yard.
Last night’s end-of-world rain storm washed away surface dirt and exposed a couple of mutilated barbies on that path. Now, if this were an episode of “Bones”, the crime scene team would already be there looking for the heads that were clearly decapitated from the bodies of two shapely young debutantes.
I took this one picture, because as I stood there I realized these most likely have been buried in that spot for at least fifteen years, maybe longer. The legs and arms showed the deterioration of time more so than the torsos but even so, they still hadn’t degraded much over that space of time.
But, in stopping there and musing over the circumstances that led to these two young ladies being buried there in the first place, I wondered how many of life’s things that were important to us as one stage, but are now buried and irrelevant?
I am sure that when their boxes were first opened and their locks of golden hair released into the real world, both of these ladies became the treasured objects of their new owner.
And even before that, while in their boxes on the Toys-R-Us shelves, they were coveted by several passers-by before ultimately being dropped into the shopping cart.
And before that, during their manufacturing process, each component had been carefully quality checked and boxed, after an assembly operation that kept some 6-year-old Chinese child employed.
I guess what I am trying to say is that at several stages prior to being exposed by the Florida rains last night, they had varying levels of importance, wants, and even needs associated with them.
Material things generally follow that same path. Even the ones that don’t end up in my back yard.
They are designed, assembled, bought, and used, in varying degrees of importance. And the coveting and yearning that is associated with getting them into the hands of the user creates industry on a level that only humans could.
Other creatures don’t really produce material things like we do. We call that evolution. I call it consumption.
And hand-in-hand with consumption is one of the seven deadly sins … greed. We can all define greed in ways that suit us best but I have a simple equation in my mind for it.
Want minus Need = Greed
Humans are insatiably greedy. There are those of you now who are dismissing my equation above because you know your drawers are full of things that you wanted but didn’t actually need. And you don’t want to be called greedy. So you will assign to word “greed” to a level of excess of things beyond what a normal person might want.
If humans weren’t inherently greedy, there would be no fat people on the planet and wealth (or resources) would be fairly evenly spread. Now before all you thyroid activists start jumping up and down on me; I know, I know. I am only making generalities and I acknowledge there would be exceptions.
But when we live on a planet full of morbidly obese and super wealthy people while others are starving and poor, that, my friends is GREED.
Unfortunately there is a sad aspect of human character that makes us very unlikely to correct our greed anytime soon. Humans and particularly well-off humans, don’t like giving up something they already own.
They would much rather keep it in a drawer that have someone who needs it, use it.
So they die with burgeoning bank accounts consisting of huge numbers on spreadsheets and statements. While others die with a pain in their bellies from no food and disease.
The disparities between the have’s and have not’s are gaping and the divide is growing wider. There is no trend to reduce it.
Politicians or activists that try are generally ridiculed by the have’s and vilified as being left-wing nut jobs or god forbid, socialists. Even Christians for god sake use the word “socialist” as a put-down when their very founder was himself a socialist.
Building walls and getting rich off the back of poor labor are methods of normalizing greed and making it an integral part of our way of life.
The morality of excess has been explained away as god’s reward to the good and allows these “men of conscience” to sleep on their eiderdown pillows dreaming no doubt of what else they can acquire tomorrow.
The American Dream has become an all-you-can-eat buffet for some, but if your skin isn’t the most perfect shade of Aryan White, then just wait in the alley out back, we’ll be throwing out the leftovers soon.
Can you believe all these rambling thoughts came on the heels of a couple of headless Barbies suddenly exposed by last night’s torrent?
Oh, if only we could have a torrent of conscience that exposed the world for what it has become.