Thursday, August 1, 2013

Food for thought

Here's something to consider:

Look down at your clothing. What are you wearing? Does it fit you? Is it comfortable? Did you think very much about it before you put it on, or like me, did you just pick the first items that appeared to be clean? Even if you took elaborate care and thought in choosing every item you wore- making certain your shoes offset your shirt just right, and so forth- here's something so simple and obvious that it probably never even occurred to you at the time: Every garment you are wearing was most likely made by another person. There are of course rare exceptions to this statement, but chances are even if you have made every item of your own wardrobe, it is unlikely that you also harvested the raw material, processed it, dyed it, and wove it into a cloth. These activities were all done for you by other people who you will, in all probability, never meet.

They might live on the opposite side of the world, or two houses away for all you know. Now think about the hundreds and hundreds of items you use every day, from the tools you use, to the food that you eat, to the place where you live. Every one of these things represent a moment in the life of another living person with thoughts, loves, and dreams like yours. They each have friends and family as well. They made these things for you. They most likely never knew or cared that the thing they were doing in that moment was for you. Whatever their reason for creating the object in question whether it was an exquisitely crafted piece, made with the joy of a crafts-person, or the cheapest piece of mass produced garbage produced at the end of a long shift, somebody made these things. Each and every life in this society is utterly dependent on the work of anonymous others.

If you met these people face to face, what would you say to them- The person who designed your computer, who harvested the cotton for your clothes, or made your favorite cup? Would you want to thank them, or offer criticism? What if you discovered they were the person you cut off in traffic, or the guy you smiled at in the street?
Would this change anything?

Here it is, the fact that is so massive, that it is nearly impossible to see . It is as easy to take for granted as gravity or oxygen and just as necessary for our survival:

We are all, in the most real and tangible sense, connected to every other human life on this planet. Our actions, for good or bad change the world around us in ways we can never comprehend. Regardless of belief or politics, Each and every person is an important part of our world that helps shape it into what it is, regardless of whether they understand that or not.

Taking this into consideration, don't we owe every person we meet a huge debt of gratitude? Isn't it our duty to, at very least, be kind to one another?

Under this light, the highest human aspiration would be to make the world a better place for everyone else in whatever way we can.  

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