Monday, August 20, 2012

My Way of Thinking: Perhaps a Rant

Elephants outside a hotel in Africa.  This was their home among the Mango trees that sustain their mighty hunger.  They continue to come here every year to feed because this is their home.  This is their birthright and the hotel accommodates them by giving them passage to exercise their freedom.  They even walk through the lobby to the delight of staff and guests alike.  Bravo hotel!  Cheers to you for recognizing that we can't just put up fences to keep creatures out.  It is a good thing to be inclusive.

I have a thing against the concept of gated communities.  The exclusivity of it all annoys me no end.  As people lock the rest of the world out, are they not also locking themselves in?  Other than the lavish homes, the security systems, the manicured lawns etc., what makes this all that different from a prison?  The people who live in this kind of environment have separated themselves from society as it exists in reality.  What possible benefit does that have for the real world.

I discern that many of these people identify themselves as being Christians.  Interesting, since Jesus never separated himself from the poor.  Maybe I read it wrong, but wasn't Jesus the supreme advocate for those in poverty.  No gated community for him.  The hypocrisies do not escape me.  The "let them eat cake" attitudes got Marie Antoinette beheaded as I recall.

We live under a system that feels that health care is something for the people who can afford it.  We call social interventions entitlements, ignoring the fact that the majority has paid for these things for everyone, not just the "entitled" few.  These things were conceived as a safety net for all.  Do some take undo advantage of this system?  You bet.  But should those who deserve to benefit from the promise of a secure old age, or help if they become disabled, or the right to take advantage of all that medical science has to offer suffer because of the machinations of the few?  Personally, I don't think so.

I firmly believe that we are here on this planet to work as a team.  It is our obligation to help those in need.  In so doing, we help ourselves as well.  Locking ourselves up in gilded cages seems to be only self centered.  Can't see a way around that assesment. 

Ok.  This was a rant from the heart.  The fortunate few will disagree, no doubt.  But if we aren't helping one another, then we are hurting one another.

MY WAY OF THINKING!  And I'm sticking to it.

                                    Peace and Love,




  1. Like the way elephants get worked into everything!

  2. Bill, First - Jon's comment made me laugh! It's so true but delightful. :-)

    I don't want to hurt your feelings, Bill, but I do disagree with you on gated communities. Making assumptions about the type of people who live in those communities is exactly the thing you rail against (stereotyping). I don't live in a gated community but am not opposed to it and know many good-hearted people who live in them. It isn't as if people live in a gated community and never emerge from it.

    I don't see the connection between the gated communities and health coverage, but I see first hand people who need help with coverage so agree about it's importance.

    Hope you and Jon and the pups are doing well!

    caregiving. family. advocacy.

  3. Trish, my feelings are not hurt at all. I suppose I may have used too many metaphors in this piece, but I have to stand by them. It isn't so much the gated community per se as it is about the closing oneselves off from the realities of human existence. That includes social programs and the need for them and the ability to access them for all. I feel that most, not all, people who cloister themselves in the environment of privilege, tend to forget the basics. They may come out to work for their pet charity, but I don't believe the majority truly understand or even care. It becomes their social venue and little more.

    I wrote this post with full knowledge that it would confound some and even antagonize. Just food for thought. Thank you for reading it.


  4. I know very little about gated communities except it's easy to make assumptions about the people who live there. I suspect there are many people of means who are against healthcare for all but also many who support it. It's easy enough to be upset about the ways people seem willing to deny healthcare to others (including, strangely, the many middle-income people who are afraid of universal healthcare or fear government involvement). I could probably act self-righteous given my support for liberal social causes, but in truth, I know I value the privacy and safety I feel on my own street (not gated, but a lovely, quiet street). There are probably ways I do put up fences or barriers, both mentally and socially. So I will use your post as a chance to reflect rather than claim any "advanced" humanistic state!

    I do love the elephants, however, and I love seeing them in their natural habitat.