Lately, I’ve been thinking about the tragic events in Japan. Many of the Japanese people have lost their loved ones. Many are without power, food and water. There are great concerns over the nuclear reactors and radiation. It is an awful, awful situation which brings tremendous perspective to life itself.
Meanwhile, the people here in Alabama were on Spring Break last week. MY family and I were in Utah skiing (@PCSki).
WE are fortunate. And, even if WE weren’t able to take a trip, WE would be fortunate simply to have a roof over OUR heads and food and water to eat and drink.
Unfortunately, WE, as a society, don’t think this way until such a tragic event occurs, and even then, the thoughts are fleeting. Some even think, "That’s so far away. It doesn’t affect ME.". But, it does affect US. WE are all one society. Their economy affects OURS. All lives affect others.
Everything WE do affects others, even on a small scale. For example, when WE text and drive, WE endanger others. Why do WE text while WE drive? For OURSELVES. WE want to occupy OUR time. WE don’t want to be bored. WE want to be efficient. It is all for US. The person on the other end of the line could wait (they waited before cell phones), but WE can’t.
Why do companies fail to institute proper safety measures in the manufacturing process or in the product itself? Such action endangers employees and potential customers. The executives want the company to be more productive. Why? They want it to make more money, and cutting costs on safety measures can accomplish this, and why would they do that? So they can, selfishly, make more money.
Why do companies on Wall Street and in the mortgage industry sell loans to those they know cannot afford to pay them? Why do credit card companies gauge people on interest rates and fees and continue to send applications every day? It is all SELFISH. The people heading up these companies want to make money regardless of the effects on others.
Why do actors, athletes, television and movie executives make so much money? WE want to be entertained. WE watch. Instead of using our time more effectively, WE sit in front of a box and watch others who are self absorbed (not all are). WE watch Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men (which happened to be one of MY favorite shows), and that’s why he was able to "earn" $1.8 million per episode. What does Charlie Sheen contribute to society? He has two broken families and lives with two women (one a porn star) and does drugs. Why does he do this? For HIMSELF. He’s selfish like most of US.
Ironically, Charlie Sheen had a relevant comment to all of this in his movie Wall Street ("How many yachts can you waterski behind?").
Why are WE like this? What can WE do to change this attitude? Should WE want to be different? I gave $10 to the Japan aid via text. It’s small, but a start. If all U.S. Citizens did this, how much would that be? $3 billion? What if WE donate our time to helping others? Join an organization. Help others. Be generous. Each small step is an effort at shifting our focus from US to others.