I’ve struggled today, coming up with a topic to ramble about. Literally sat down and wrote words that started with “H” … hubbabubba, haminahamina, ham, hanukkah, holocaust, hanna barbara. There were many more horrifying “h” words that came out of that pencil and my crazy noggin. Then I started skimming the blogs I frequent, checked the news feeds. Saw the knifing fiasco in Texas on the news, among other things. And the “scandal” out of Kentucky where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is having a conniption because a recording of his reelection strategy session got out to the media, much the way Mitt Romney’s 47% video did.
Through all of that, one thing that kept bouncing back to me was just how everyone had a label. The guy who tried to kill 14+ people with a box-cutter (and failed epically, thank goodness) was labeled “crazy & disturbed.” McConnell and his staff started to use similar language discussing potential opponent Ashley Judd, who’s publicly shared her challenges with clinical depression.
We talk about ultra-liberals and neo-cons. It’s tea-baggers and Obama-lovers. Haves and have nots. Christians, and Muslims, Jews and Athiests. Libertarians and anarchists. Rednecks and Preppies.
What ever happened to just being neighbors, being friends … being fellow humans?
On another blog I read regularly, today the author discussed the hunger issue in the United States. That’s really what got my brain wrapped around people just losing the basic humanity. She discusses extreme couponers who give many of their extras to charity, which is a noble effort. Shares local eatery and food businesses efforts to keep food from wasting, and how one recent incident will make you really have an “are you fucking kidding me” moment.
The short version (because her blog says a lot more on this in ways better than I can express) — a bank foreclosed on a community-owned grocery store. A church was supposed to come and pick up the food that was unexpired and utilize it’s food bank resources to give it to those who needed it most. When the church didn’t make it, members of the community came out to see if they could get a bag or two of groceries, rather than it be tossed.
The bank, instead, opted to call the local police department, while its staff threw away dumpsters full of food. Maybe not the healthiest, maybe not the “greatest” but non-expired, better than dumpster-diving expired stuff at restaurants, food.
The owner of the wrecking company contracted by the bank, was able to salvage some of the food items and get them to a food bank, and he’s the light in the darkness of this story.
After my “are you fucking kidding me” moment, I started to cry a little. Partly because somewhere, sometime, it became more important to be “right” than to be human for this bank and its staff. Often anymore corporations and people only “do the right thing” after they’ve been caught doing things the wrong way.
And partly, because I had a “there but for the grace of God go I” moment. There have been times in the past couple years, where I’ve had to choose between me eating, or my girls. Putting in only a gallon of gas in the car and buying a loaf of bread, jar of jelly, jar of peanut butter, and a gallon of milk with the last $10 I had, because I was too proud to ask my family or anyone else, yet again, for a little extra help, when a freelance check or some extra income was coming in within a day or two. I know though, I am lucky. I do have family and friends who can help.
Not everyone does.
And it’s up to the human nature, the humanity in us all, to help those who need it most, when and where we can.