Wednesday, April 26, 2017

All About You

I have written in plenty about the need, the urgency, to understand "the other."  About the need for empathy, especially for the migrants fleeing the tyrants.  And, in the political setting, about how 63 million people elected to the White House a horrible human being who was proudly open about his cruelest approach towards the others.  And about how a significant number of that 63 million are bible-thumping, churchgoing moralists.

Now, consider this:
As I meet, or lend an ear to those who are sick, to the migrants who face terrible hardships in search of a brighter future, to prison inmates who carry a hell of pain inside their hearts, and to those, many of them young, who cannot find a job, I often find myself wondering: "Why them and not me?"
How about this?
Good intentions and conventional formulas, so often used to appease our conscience, are not enough. Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the other is not a statistic or a number. The other has a face. The "you" is always a real presence, a person to take care of.
The other has a face.  What if that face is you?  What if you are the one who needs help?
People's paths are riddled with suffering, as everything is centered around money, and things, instead of people. And often there is this habit, by people who call themselves "respectable," of not taking care of the others, thus leaving behind thousands of human beings, or entire populations, on the side of the road.
"[Each] and everyone's existence is deeply tied to that of others."  Right?

I was quoting the Pope throughout.  Yes, that Pope.  And in a TED talk!

Atheist I am, yes.  But, it does seem to me that what I really care about is in line with the Pope's message.  And, a good chunk of the 63 million who are bible-thumpers, including Catholics, apparently are then contradicting the Pope's interpretation of what Jesus's teachings mean.

No wonder the Pope in one of his previous messages said “But to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.”

I will wrap this up with the Pope's own words from his TED talk:
The future of humankind isn't exclusively in the hands of politicians, of great leaders, of big companies. Yes, they do hold an enormous responsibility. But the future is, most of all, in the hands of those people who recognize the other as a "you" and themselves as part of an "us." We all need each other.


Ramesh said...

This Pope is a wise man. He truly has compassion.

Forget the migrants who come to Europe. These are the rich. The amounts they have to pay to people smugglers is a fortune.

Spare a thought for those in Lebanon's camps and worse still those in Aleppo. They deserve our greatest sympathies. Frankly the refugee ban on which your President is blowing a lot of hot air is less debilitating. His indifference to aid to such war torn countries is the real disaster.

Sriram Khé said...

"is less debilitating" is not true. It has affected real practices in so many different ways. It is not mere hot air by any means.

It is not merely about the war-torn countries. His rhetoric has completely distorted the way even mainstream Americans think about America's relationship with the rest of the world. We are now rapidly changing into a country of heartless Marie Antoinettes who don't care a shit about the plight of humans outside our borders. And within our borders, the heartlessness is being practiced in many ways.

I cannot believe that this is the man that "god-fearing" and "good Christian" Americans--including two former frequent commenters--voted for. All the more reasons for me to claim that we atheists care more about fellow humans that most devoutly religious do--our actions speak louder than their words.

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