The holiday season here is nearing a close. Millions of American children are already ignoring the many gifts that they received for Christmas. Young people everywhere are texting each other making plans for New Year’s Eve. It has been a great year for the consumer establishment — the best retail year since 2008, unless, of course, you work for K-Mart or Sears.
Life is about to break out of its repose here in America and return its attention to high unemployment, Republicans arguing about who would torture the most terrorists and why the rich should not pay taxes. Democrats will stare and do nothing about a federal deficit so large that no one can see the end of it. People will run late for meetings and curse traffic. We will watch reality television and tweet each other about nothing of consequence.
Elsewhere, a Syrian student will be blown to pieces in a rally against a government that no one wants simply because a deluded and ruthless dictator wants to cling to power. This will not deter his comrades as tens of thousands will return to the streets to face live automatic weapons fire and nail bombs. Egyptian women will protest their oppression and be detained, raped and then checked to see if they are virgins in a new twist on torture and perversion.
Our people are dying. Our people are being tortured. Yes, our people, human people, people who bleed blood as red as yours. When was the last time you even saw your own blood, let alone spilled it for a noble cause? The paper cut you got opening your new iPhone box at Christmas does not count.
It is time that our people, all of our people, our Chinese people, our American people, our Venezuelan people and Nigerian people, put down their selfish concerns and stare into the wounds of those seeking simply to be free. The problem is not the other guy who oppresses us. The problem is us.
You live in a world that is capable of feeding everyone. You live in a world where free speech could be available to all, but is useful to none unless someone is listening. We live in a world that could eradicate most of the suffering of every species on the planet and yet fails to do so simply because it lacks the vision, the will and the compassion to do so.
Who are you? What do your stand for? If we looked into your thoughts and deeds what would we see that you stand for? Is this the best use of your life? Is your life being put to any useful purpose at all? Are you really going to spend life watching television, texting and chattering about your favorite comfort food? Are you no more important than that? Who controls whether or not you are contribution or a burden to this planet?
You have no right to exist. You have no right to your latte. You live simply in the delusion of your entitlement, but anyone at any time can take it from you. Whether you torture women or shoot students in the street or care for the sick and feed the hungry, know that the universe is indifferent to your struggle. That is why we organize into societies. That is why we for alliances with others – to create a united front against a universe that would snuff us out of existence with a comet. We exist in opposition to chaos and we must do it together.
Do not make our children fight for their freedom alone. Do not make our children feed the hungry by themselves. The greatest strength, perhaps the very divinity of humanity, lies in our ability to come together to stake a claim to our mutual existence and happiness.