Who are We?


It is 3:59 p.m. as I start to write this. I just finished watching the news and two commercials before I turned off the TV. Now I’m writing a brief statement about what I saw. I honestly don’t mean this to be political, I write it in hopes that we will stop and ask ourselves if this is who and what we are, and if this is what and who we want to be.

I just watched a video tape of three judges asking questions of a government attorney who was appealing a decision that children who have illegally crossed our border with Mexico must be provided with a blanket, a toothbrush and soap. Think about this for a moment, a toothbrush, soap and a blanket. The government is arguing that we need not provide these three items to children. All three judges were obviously appalled that they were hearing the appeal. The attorney for the government (in my opinion) appeared embarrassed that she had to stand in front of the judges and make the case for the government.

Soap-a toothbrush-a blanket, for children.

The appeal will have to be decided by those three judges and from what they said, it seems the federal government is in trouble in this case.

As quickly as the story ended, two commercials came on next. The first, a beautifully dressed and lovely female swaying and showing off her gold $600.00 Mondavi watch. Not a $20,000 Rolex for sure, but a watch that makes you sway like a golden goddess. One that can start and start time at your whim. As soon as that commercial was over, the second, a beautiful new SUV driving across the country with two young, beautiful and adventurous passengers (aren’t they always young and beautiful) on a cruise across America without a care in the world.

I don’t begrudge anyone having a watch or a new car. But in my simple little mind, there is a huge undeniable disconnect between having luxury watches and denying children a bar of soap because they have darker skin and come from another country. Yes, I freely admit our immigration system is broken, it must be fixed. But where in that fix is there not a need to provide the basics that we citizens never consider for one moment?

I’m reminded of a program I once watched called “CNN Heroes.” People are nominated for doing wonderful things to help others. One young African man was nominated. Briefly his story was that of being in the U S and staying in a hotel. He was astonished to see that after he had used a bar of soap one time, the next day it had been discarded and another new bar was in it’s place. In his home country, thousands of people died because of the simple lack of having soap. A human being could have lived for the price of a bar of soap. He started an organization for collecting used hotel soap, re-formulating it and sending it to Africa. That man’s simple and humane effort resulted in the saving of countless lives. A bar of soap. And our government sees no need to provide a .50 cent bar of soap or a toothbrush to a child.

So, I ask if that’s who and what we perceive our country to be, or we want this country to be?

No country was ever, or will ever be great, if we turn our backs on basic goodness. On basic kindness or basic compassion for others.

No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anne Frank

Go Well – David