"In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away." -Shing Xiong *** "Do not go where the path may lead; instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -Ralph Waldo Emerson *** "Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget." -G. Randolf *** "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." -E.M. Forster *** "Imagnination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world." -Albert Einstein *** Defintion of Suburbia: A place where they cut down trees and name streets after them. -(Unknown, found on sticker) :p *** "A lie goes halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." -Winston Churchill***"Love is the irresistible desire to be desired irresistibly." -Louis Ginsberg ***"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." -Martin Buber

Friday, June 17, 2011

Discussion with my Father (discussion, thoughts)

June 15th, 2011
Posted June 17th, 2011
The other day, my father and I were talking about politics, people, and philosophy, as we often do. During the conversation, I brought up how much money frustrates me and how it has to be the backbone to everything in society. All anyone seems to ever worry about is money, rather than the simple, beautiful things in life.

I talked about how I had often thought about a society without money. In my head, this is what I imagined. A society almost exactly like it is now, but without money. People would still work and do their jobs, and as long as they continued to contribute to society in some way, they could continue to receive the things they needed for their family. You could simply walk into, say Wal-Mart, get your groceries, and walk out. What would the people that run Wal-Mart get, then? Well, they would get the same. For helping provide for the people, they can have what they need for themselves and their family. As long as you contribute, you can have wants too. Like televisions and Ipods, etc. I felt this would eliminate that power struggle that constantly goes on today... everyone would be mostly equal, no one would be better than anyone else due to having more cash. I guess this idea is almost Karl Marx's original portrayal of communism. Not the negative communism we see that was carried out by figures like Stalin.
My dad then pointed out that the system I had in mind would still be a form of money, only bartering. Trading time and effort for supplies. My main point though was the hope that the elimination of money would help eliminate man's constant power struggle, and maybe even materialistic greed. But I would never truly know if that's what the result would be.
He also pointed out that people wouldn't want that. Because of our natural greed that can be traced back to animal instinct (if a lion can get more meat, wouldn't he fight another lion for it?), we wouldn't be satisfied with this set up.
This concept was then applied later in the conversation to a different matter. Most everyone can agree, for example, that child hunger is awful, correct? And most everyone can agree that we'd like to see it stopped, correct? Well, my dad said something along these lines, and it stuck with me. If we sat down and had a meeting with everyone to solve this problem, and the leader of the group were to say "In order to save these kids, I need you to give up some things. In order to have enough supplies for these kids (in say, Africa), I need you to give up ice cream, some types of fruits and vegetables, and of your three meals a day, you must have water for two. The third meal, you can only have one drink such as coffee, orange juice, wine, beer, cranberry juice, etc. Also, steak will only be allowed once a month, and chicken twice a month."
At this point, many people would drop out of the effort to help these kids. Why? Because they're required to make changes and give up some things to benefit others. They like the idea, but they don't like actually following through with it.
And once he said this, this really lit a fire cracker under my ass, for lack of better words. 
So what? So what if you have to give up ice cream and only have steak once a month and drink water most of the time? SO WHAT?  You still have your televisions, your houses, your pets, your warm bed at night, your comfort and security. No matter what you're eating, you still have a family to sit down with and laugh with and have a good time with. You're stomach is still full and you're not starving.
These kids probably don't have any of that, if they can't afford to even eat. They spend every day wondering if they'll live to see the next one! They might not even have a family to sit with and enjoy what little food they do get. They're parents may be victims of genocide, or dead because they starved to death!
I would give up all the food mentioned above and more, if it meant someone else could have a second chance at life. If a child could have a second chance at childhood.
What would you give up?