Sunday, April 26, 2015

Why does god hate Nepal?

As I have often blogged here, living a Socratic examined life reveals a lot about our own priorities. A literal and metaphorical example came up in the context of the devastating earthquake in Nepal.  I captured this flow of tweets in my Twitter feed:

The juxtaposition of Pepsi and aspartame, and American kids and money, on either side of news about the tragedy in Nepal says a lot about the lives that we lead.  In all fairness to Vox, the Nepal news featured a lot in the tweets from that organization.  I value Vox as a news and analysis source; why else would I subscribe to that feed, right?  And, of course, WSJ tweets about all things trivial too.

Which is why I use that juxtaposition as a metaphor.  Think about some of the major events over the past few months that have terribly affected humanity.  The civil war in Syria.  Boko Haram in Nigeria. The convoluted Greek fiscal tragedy.  Ferguson and Baltimore.  The list is endless.

Caption at the source:
On Sunday, Nepalis in Bhaktapur, near the capital, Katmandu, cremate relatives killed in in the earthquake

Sure, we humans cannot be immersed in tragedies all the time and we might get tired of the bad news out there.  But, seriously, what percentage of our lives do we actually spend on the bad news?  Both in terms of time as well as money.  Or, let me put it this way: should we not at least match the time and money that we spend entertaining ourselves with time and money on the unfortunate situations that are all around us?  I don't mean our work time, how much ever that is entertaining to us.  I wish there were a meter of sorts--a meter that lets us watch sports for an hour, for instance, only after we spent at least half that time reading/watching in-depth news and reports about some of the issues that trouble fellow humans.

I suppose this rant is nothing but a secular version of the old religious ideas of caring for others, donating to help, not to be preoccupied with entertainment, and more.  But then most believers, of whatever gods they fancy, have long since walked away from those teachings, while this atheist continues to pound on those old-fashioned ideas!  Such is life :(

Just as I was writing that previous sentence, an emailed popped up--it was about Nepal:

If you feel like donating, then here is a list that the NY Times has put together.

PS: Why the title, you ask?  Click here for the answer.

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