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Monday, September 26, 2005

Tragedies have a way of focusing individual dialogue on the meaning of life, particularly big ones like Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami... And inevitably, someone, or I should say, somemany begin to try and 'dialogue' about if we, as individuals, are doing "enough" to make the world a better place. The implication being something like, if you aren't volunteering, giving of time, money and/or resources then somehow you don't care or are, worse, useless and/or a malignant force in the universe.

It irks me. Not because I don't believe this isn't a valid line of questioning. But shouldn't we always be questioning what we are doing? I wonder what ever happened to being a good person? Why isn't being a good person contribution enough to society? And what do you tell a 3 year old is contribution enough to (his) world if being a good person isn't enough?

I think all line of reasoning should be simplified to a 3 year old level. If it doesn't make sense to a 3 year old then we are just making it too damn complicated, as we human beings are wont to do.

Here's my thinking. If you can't give money because you don't it; you can't give time because you don't have any to spare; if you can't give other resources because you have just enough for your own - are you automatically uncaring and not a good person? No! Duh! Because, its not just in hurricane zones where people have needs, its in all zones at all times. We all have a need to be respected, valued and cared about even if that doesn't include the sending of a care package. That's what good people do afterall, isn't it? Care at all times and do what they can to contribute always, even if it is a modest contribution like saying hello to the postal worker instead of just demanding stamps...

I know we are a 'do do do' society and the beef most people have at times like this is that it seems to translate into 'do for myself' often. It can seem like someone else has so much and you yourself have so little so why don't they give some of it up! And in the aftermath of a hurricane, I admit that I had more shampoo than many of the survivors did at first... But, that doesn't make my work, raising children, running a family and trying to get films made any less giving to society, does it?

And the whole talk of connecting, as long as we are talking about making connections with each other, with ourselved and not with our stuff, I suppose that is alright. But when making a connection, lending a hand, giving, is put in a way that elicits guilt, isn't that just as bad as being materialistic?

Clearly I am rambling... If I am making any sense responses welcome...

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