Voices From Street Corners (Vol 12)

Thanksgiving day is a wonderful day. This Thanksgiving day in Orange County was a particularly gorgeous and wonderful one. I saw not cloud in the sky as I walked the trail at Aliso Wood Canyon Trail enjoying that wonderful majestic view that we are so blessed it and being reflective. I decided to focus this latest edition of “Voices” on another one of those: Me.

I was traveling up Alicia Parkway to visit family members. As I traveled up and got near Marketplace, I saw one of those “voices” that broke my heart. He had brought out his entire family to occupy a street corner to see what he can do for his family. This was as I read reports about how Food Banks in Orange County had gone bare. Some had noted that they had seen consistent contributions. But, the fact that this gentleman brought out his entire family on Thanksgiving day was just one indication of the continue problems.

Manfred Max-Neef

As I had the good fortune to visit family members and get caught up on all the latest happenings, my thoughts again went back to all those who were not as blessed. I wondered about the continued calamity that many of us continue to face. I thought about the one percent that seem to be doing better as the other 99 percent seem to be doing worst. I read about the calamity of those who have had to declare bankruptcy because they had no choice. As I continued to think through, I dug up the interview done with the man behind “Barefoot economics”:

This idea of America becoming an Under Developing Nation is something that I believe is not being talked about. I have examples of it around me in a major way. The mere statistics are simply a part of the story–but not the whole story. The top one percent is doing better than other ninety nine percent!!! I thought about companies that are sitting on 2 Trillion Dollars in Cash while those very “Voices” on Main Street truly don’t seem to matter.

I spent the day after thanksgiving tending to some commitments and ended the day talking to one of the “Voices” I have periodically talked to. He told me how he had some stuff lined up and that he was “alive and surviving”. What did disappoint me about him was how he bought himself some booze to continue apparently drinking away because his breath reflected the fact that he was drinking. I did wish him well as I departed. I suppose that drinking was his escape from this cycle of poverty and deprivation that he has had that he has shared with me during the times I have talked to him.

As I drove away, I thought about whether we have lost our sense of humanity. As I thought about this, I ran across this admonition attributed to Chief Seattle that we all must remember that we’re all bound together and have a common destiny and purpose:

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.

Do we have the courage to remember this? Will we have the courage to understand our true challenges and take the brave steps to deal with it?

  2 comments for “Voices From Street Corners (Vol 12)

  1. November 27, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Bricklayers Union Protests Use of Foreign Labor at Martin Luther King Memorial

    Don’t you understand?
    Bush & Obama and their Congresses simply do not care about American joblessness.

    Please notice that there are only 41 Congress Members that are members of the symbolic “Reclaim American Jobs Caucus.”

  2. November 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I watched the 59 minute video and was not surprised that the Chilean Economist, Manfred Max-Neef, had nothing useful to say. The Democracy Now interviewer, Amy Gooden, tried her best to draw out his ideas about the solution to the 1% vs. the 99% wealth distribution problem. The “economist” was aware of the $13 trillion bailout of the speculators but had no idea on how to prevent future bailouts. Manfred’s claim for his ability to truly understand global poverty is based upon his experience of standing in the mud and observing a poverty stricken Chilean man with a family to support. Manfred was unable to explain his 5 part economic program when asked to do so by the Democracy Now interviewer.
    There is more economic wisdom in this eleven sentence Pittsburg Tribune-Review editorial than in the 20 minute Manfred Max-Neef interview.

    The interview with the environmental terrorist, Derrick Jensen, was quite revealing.
    (1) If you live in a city you’re part of the problem because ‘stuff’ needs to be imported into the city; ‘stuff’ like raw materials for manufacturing, for retail sales, food and clothing. The ships, planes, trains, and trucks that bring the ‘stuff’ into the city are all harmful to the environment.
    (2) The ideal level of technology for the true environmentalist would be Stone Age technology because this level would not harm the environment.
    (3) The only sustainable economy would be a Stone Age economy with people living in small groups as ‘Hunters & Gatherers’.
    Think it through. The world’s population needs to be reduced by 90 something percent in order for a few hundred thousand pure environmentalists to survive in a Stone Age Paradise.

    Watch the Democracy Now video if you believe I’m making this stuff up.

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