The Way That Things Are

It has gotten increasingly more clear, at least since I was a kid, that most of the people I know are unhappy. They’re unhappy about their life as it is and feel hopeless about the future—heck, they’re not even sure they’ll be happy in the afterlife, if they still believe in one.

What is it that’s causing all this unhappiness? Some say it’s that we’re always at war with someone, and they’re tired of it. They’ve lost too many friends and family members to combat when they’re not even sure what it is we’re fighting for, except for “the American way of life.” And, lately, that way of life has seemed to be more and more about “looking out for Number 1” than it has about caring about our families and friends.

When I read statistics like the ones that say that 650 children are dying of starvation every hour—every hour—on our planet, it makes me feel sick. It certainly makes it difficult for me to eat, even though all I can afford is cheap pasta with a bit of olive oil and some herbs and salt. Then I read that something like 5% of the people on the planet control at least 95% of its wealth and resources. Now, how does that make sense?

I’m also hearing that, because there wasn’t much snowfall in the mountains this past year, California has only one year’s supply of water for its residents. What’s going to happen when they run out? Do you really think that the neighboring states will just divvy up their own water to help out? They’re only a  step or two behind California as it is.

And yet, every time I hear a politician talk about raising taxes on the grotesquely wealthy, they get labeled a socialist or a Marxist. But if there are people who have enough money for everything that they’ll ever want or need, and that their children will ever want or need, and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren will ever want or need, why shouldn’t they help out?

It’s not like anyone’s asking for a Porsche. We’re talking about water, and beans and rice. Roofs over peoples’ heads. Basic shelter and survival stuff.

How did we end up like this? I mean, even in my family, which was pretty messed up when it came to caring about each other and pretty poor financially by the standards of the day, we felt like we had something to look forward to in the future. I rarely had clothes that hadn’t already been worn by at least two of my older siblings, but I expected to go to college and have a professional job when I graduated. I didn’t have my own children (turns out, I couldn’t), but I’d have gone hungry myself before I’d let my niece or nephew not eat. And I expected to keep in touch with at least a couple of my siblings.

When I look around me at the planet I live on, in the country I live in, and at my own personal circumstances, it makes me want to scream and cry at the same time. And it makes me wonder what it is that has somehow gone so horribly wrong that caused such a massive failure.

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m not one to sit with an unanswered question for long, especially a “why”  question.

I started watching, and listening, and paying attention. I started reading both newspapers and books, and researching some of the topics that I kept hearing were haunting us from the past, yet still being used as part of the foundation of what was going on today.

Do you know which books I studied the most, what I figured out, and which author it was that helped pull it all together so that it made sense to me?

Well,  you’re going to have to wait until Monday to find out.

Much Love and Many Blessings,

~Annie  

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