Yesterday I had an exceptionally dark moment. I was tired of scumbags in general and scumbag atheists in particular (”scumbag” is the key word here). I don’t know if you’ve noticed them, but they are the type who first tells you atheists are the most tolerant of all, and in the next sentence tramples all what others hold dear with spiked souls. In Sweden one equaled christianity with nazism, but the actual religion isn’t important – they sweeps every religion under broad generalisations. I take this personally, and why shouldn’t I? It’s aimed at religious persons, and I am religious. It’s so easy to throw something back – something about the public intercourses the (then) outspoken atheist chinese regimes forced upon buddhist monks and nuns to break their habits in the 1960/70s.
I could probably dig up several more, but the entire discussion would only turn into a gigantic blame game, and a blame game is not a place for tolerance, or anything constructive at all. What I really miss is compassion, understanding and sharing. I miss solidarity and helpfullness and the insight in the fact that we are all weaven together in the same web.
Does this sound romantic? I don’t mean it in an romantic way. Let me give you an exemple: I have around 100 friends on my facebook page. One of them is a genius; member of MENSA, made the walk through law shool look like a stroll in the park, and is genuinely nice to everyone (in this person the epithet ”likeable lawyer” is not an oxymoron). Another person does not regard him/herself as lucky in the head departement. I think the person is far more intelligent that her/he thinks, but we can sum it up in ”no university career”. My friend cleans airplanes – and does it really good. When a person can choose freely what hours to pick on a schedule it’s a good sign his/her boss wants that worker badly.
I sometimes toy with the idea of putting all my online friends in the same community. Will never happen, of course, but it gives me a chance to exercise my brain for a while. Let’s say the community decided to keep costs down by having all members ‘paying’ with a few hours of work every month. These hours can be spent in several ways – one very common pattern is to delegate chores regardless of the individual who does them. When there’s yard work to be done, everyone does yard work. But a smarter way is to match the individuals to the chores – the likeable lawyer would look into juridical matters, and the cleaner would clean.
And now we run into the problem of what value these hours should have. The likeable lawyer knows his/her price, I’ve never asked so let’s assume the price is twenty times the cleaner’s – if you buy the hours on the open market. In general we don’t value cleaning much. On the other hand it wouldn’t sit well with the community if we made the cleaner work twenty hours when the likeable lawyer only needed to work one. In a small group this would tear holes in the affinity that is needed to make people want to work for the community.
When facing this problem most people despair and returns to pattern #1 – everyone does every chore. On the other hand this is a waste, since we’re now letting a highly priced lawyer clean instead of doing juridical work. Thing is, if we ask for five hours from both the cleaner and the lawyer, the cleaner’s hours increases in value since they frees the lawyer to use her/his skill. (Dang! I’d love to have an gender neutral possesive pronomen to use in english – this text would be so much easier to write!)
When we look at society as a whole, this connection still work, but it’s not as visible. It’s been trendy to snear at people with low income jobs, and say that anyone who wants a better life has to chose for him/herself, and can get a better paid job if he / she really works to get it. But how would our world look like if everyone chose to become a lawyer? No one would clean the streets, no one would cook at McDonalds, no one would grow food, no one would sit at the front desk, the hospitals would be empty – not because everyone was healthy but because there may be doctors (a well payed job, that), but no one who would clean the rooms and the collected dirt would make them health hazards. What we _would_ have would be a long series of interesting law suits over why humanity starved to death naked.
We should be really glad that some persons chose to do those jobs, because they free us to spend time on our best talents (if we chose to do so). Anyone who chose a job like that should be granted a decent life. We don’t need to pay a lawyers sallary, but we need to see to that even a cleaner can afford health care, education, vacations etc.
Being born and raised by communistic parents it may come as a surprise to you that I’m not overly interested in how this is going to be achieved. A society needs some core values to stay stable, but no ideology or religon has ever guaranteed goodness. Some of the key factors are instead that we are willing to share each others’ burdens, and that we are willing to se each other as humans – perhaps not perfect, perhaps not even persons we’d like to meet, but humans with good sides, talents and hopes nevertheless.
I’ve seen so little of this understanding lately.
So, instead of joining the blame game, the trolling and dirt slinging I decided to promote this understanding. Today I give you a small vid about Maddox Lucille, made for raising awareness about Down’s syndrome. Here you get a small peek behind the scenes in a family with an affected member, and we get those facts we tend to forget when we have a short encounter with one elsewhere. For a writer planning to promote her/himself on YouTube this vid is interesting in another way. Anyone can use their method to get their message across; it’s basically a static camera, written signs and a good tune. You don’t have to juggle an adorable toddler (you’ll have a hard time finding anyone as adorable as Maddox Lucille anyway) or anything adorable at all, just see to get clear writing (capitals) and the timing right.
So enough of my writing – take a look at Maddox Lucille instead, you won’t regret it 🙂