Thursday, January 17, 2019

"Me First and Me Only" - A Mantra to be Proud of ?

     I was on my way home from Windham Ski Mountain here in New York late this afternoon.  I tuned into one of the only radio stations I could pick up: NPR out of Albany.  They were advertising an upcoming segment: "Has President Trump been keeping his promises since his inaugural address?" Then they aired a recording of him saying: "From this day forward, it's going to be - only America first - America First."  THIS LINE BUGS THE HELL OUT OF ME.  Not because I mind my country being first, but because we are already first in so many things - like overall wealth, most expensive healthcare, prisoners per capita, drug-overdose fatalities, military spending - the list goes on and on. WE ARE ALREADY FIRST!.  And yet, our new president said that the wealthiest nation on the planet is going to think only of  itself .

     Within twenty minutes of hearing the above quote, I listened to a segment reporting that in the last month, eight Syrian children under the age of four months froze to death in the Syrian refugee camps along the border with Jordan - due to a lack of shelters. This was reported by UNICEF.  Obviously there is a large segment of our American population that couldn't care less. "Only America First" infers that  these infants and their mothers, fathers, and loved ones don't count since they aren't Americans.  Animals tend to think only of their own and their offspring's survival.  People starving to death are somewhat entitled to think that way, too.  I dare say -Spiritual beings should not.

     Our country has enormous, complicated problems that warrant earnest debate to sort through the many nuances and available options.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't seriously consider the effects of our government's decisions on the welfare of Americans. On the contrary, I'm saying that to consider ONLY our welfare is the ethical equivalent of being one of twenty people on a deserted island and secretly eating an entire crate of food that washes up on shore. Some people are OK with that - but that mentality doesn't represent the best of the American spirit.

     I saw an example of that spirit today at Windham. A few dozen volunteers working with the Adaptive Sports Foundation were teaching children with cognitive disabilities how to ski on the bunny slope.  I know any one of them would be more exhilarated skiing the expert runs of the mountain on their day off.  However, they chose to serve someone beyond themselves and outside their tribe. I've met many people from the ASF and they are the kind of people that actually "Make America Great."

     I wrote a song years ago and though it is a sub-optimal recording - I offer it to you as a corollary to the above.  Please click on the link below if you'd like to see / hear the video.
    Though my blog is getting views, unless I get an occasional comment, I have no idea if people are actually getting anything worthwhile out of my posts or which types they like.  PLEASE leave a brief comment - ranging anywhere from "complete waste of time" to "glad you posted".  Or be creative as you wish. Either way I would most appreciate the feedback.

Thank you so much,  Mark.

"Look Aside"



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