• Edie Montreux

Controversy

It’s been a long week full of controversy, cover-ups, and another mass shooting just this morning. One of my friends posted, “I’m pretty sure we’re actually in a dystopian novel now and none of us realize it.” Another friend responded, “I think we do realize it and that’s why we are losing our minds.”

About the same time I saw that post, I also saw the following:

This shouldn’t be controversial, but it’s the heart of what is wrong in our society. We believe in individuality so much we’ve forgotten the plight of our fellow humans. We believe we are better, special, different. We’ve earned the right to be better, and only those who meet our own preset qualifications for “betterness” deserve our help to make it to our level.

Let me be Morphius for a moment. What if I told you all life on this planet is connected? What if I told you we all deserve love, acceptance, guidance, happiness? Everyone, from the tiniest orphan in Africa to the richest man in the United States. Everyone. If you want to answer with, “But what about…” NO. No buts. No exceptions. Everyone, from the poorest thief to the sickest serial killer deserves our help. I challenge you to consider: The people you find undeserving need help most of all.

Finding others unworthy or undeserving is a way we preserve our own image of self. It’s safe. Telling ourselves others don’t deserve help is our way of protecting ourselves from failure if we attempt to help and something goes wrong. Here’s another idea: Give help without any sense of payback. Give without expecting anything in return. Our biggest downfall is our internal expectation of compensation. It should feel good to give without ever knowing whether or not that bum spent your twenty dollars on food or booze. It should feel good to know that we gave everyone an equal chance to succeed, and the ones who don’t are making a conscious choice to fail, not a predetermined consequence of poverty, illness, or the very makeup of their DNA.

No one on this planet is illegal. No one on this planet should have to go hungry, or without shelter, or live in fear of their government for being born with a different skin color, believing in a different god, desiring people of their own gender (or not wanting to have sex with anyone ever), or knowing the body they have doesn’t match their gender.

If you feel you’re better than everyone else and no one is worthy of your help, the day is coming when the planet as a whole will no longer tolerate your ignorance.

If you do want to help, please vote on November 6. Research your candidates, and pick those attempting to move toward food, shelter, and healthcare for all. It seems simple, but it’s one of the biggest controversies of our time.