Trying To Wake Up

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."

-Edith Wharton, novelist (1862-1937)

What Am I Missing Here?

It becomes clearer and clearer to me that disagreement is at the core of much that distresses the world. I can understand this, there is much angst among us. But, is it an indication that we are thinking too small? Is our looking out for #1,to the exclusion of everything else the source of this smallness? All I can think is that it must be. Otherwise, what some of us are saying is that it really is okay to let children starve to death. Who are we that this could be true of any one of us?

Yesterday, I was called to jury duty. I was not interviewed or selected, but I was present to the selection of a jury for a criminal trial, all day. We were given instructions to pay close attention to all questions asked by the judge, the prosecutor and the defense attorney. Early in the proceedings I thought about how a criminal trial epitomized disagreement. One of the questions the defense attorney asked potential jurors was whether they understood that the burden of proof of guilt was on the prosecutor. They pointed out that they were not obligated to defend the defendant's innocence. At least 20 people answered this question about the responsibiltiy of proof, and this gave me the opportunity to just listen to what they said without my own opinion engaged.

The charges in this trial characterized sexual misconduct. After the charges were read against the defendant, I looked within myself and tried to wipe the slate clean of my opinions about someone who would even be accused of these things. He was innocent until the prosecution had proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he was guilty. I thought about this idea of a reasonable doubt. What is a reasonable doubt? Dictionary.com defines reasonable as, "Agreeable to sound judgment." "Doubt is defined as, "To hesitate to believe." So, what they were reminding us of over and over was that even though we might 'think' the defendant is guilty, if the evidence has not proven it, he is not guilty. I listened to the jury candidates answer whether they understood this concept thoroughly.

The prosecutor then asked if there were no forensics, ie: DNA, blood, tissue, etc, entered into evidence would that keep the juror from convicting. So now I am beginning to picture the situation where all the evidence was going to consist of statements made by witnesses. The jury candidates were being prepared to discern from what they heard, from those called to the stand, whether they were believable or not, and whether what they said constituted only bad moral judgment or a criminal act.

I started to think back on some of the articles I have read on HubPages and I thought about the comments left by myself and others. I wondered if there was anything we could all agree upon. The only thing I could think that we might agree on is that children should be taken care of at all cost. Then I remembered that the Tea Party and GOP congressional leaders are in favor of cutting subsidies for school lunches to public schools, even though it is known this might be the only meal some of those children would have that day. I thought about all the opposing opinions I read in the comments and hubs and again pondered whether there was anything on which we could all agree. If we could not agree to this most basic responsibility, caring for children, what could we possibly have in common?

When I was a very small child, I only had to hear once that there were children starving in some other part of the world to finish everything on my plate. Even at a very early age, the thought that someone my age might not have enough to eat, that day, was heart breaking. I saw the news reels and National Geographic specials showing children with their stomachs distended from the effects of starvation. I wondered then why no one was willing to help them and I am still wondering why no one is helping them, now. Seeing these things as a child made the world seem so out of balance that I could not imagine bringing another person into this world. It seemed obvious, to me, that there were enough people in the world, so quantity was not the issue, quality of life was the issue. I decided I would not have children, but would work to help change the attitudes among us that it is okay to have children that might die from starvation.

To me, having children is a privilege, not a right. Worldwide, child bearing is taken somewhat for granted, from what I can see, though. People have used many excuses for having children, which are not sound reasons, in my opinion, but this brings me back to my earlier question. Are we thinking too small, here on planet earth? People around the globe have children they cannot afford. They have children they know will someday be sent off to fight the battles of greed, oppression and hate for some despot already too long in control. They have children because their religion wants more followers. The list just goes on and on. But, why are so few people looking at the long term effects of this decision? Parenting is a lifetime job. And it really should be considered the directive of the community at large. Making sure that children are born into a nurturing environment is a huge responsibility and should never be taken lightly. Once children are born, however, making sure they have the opportunity to have a sound upbringing belongs to the whole community.

I read a story on AOL news, recently, that told of the illiteracy rate in Detroit, Michigan. The story said that over 50% of Detroit's population was unable to speak in complete sentences, read, write or do even simple math. The most startling fact, given in this story, was that most of the people they were referring to were high school graduates. Yet, in order to balance budgets both nationally and statewide, education is being cut further. I understand that you cannot make someone learn who does not care, but this brings me back to the issue of having children for whom no one is going to take responsibility. So, there really are two parts to my concerns. One is the lack of education surrounding bringing children into the world, and two is the lack of a structure, once children are born, to assure the quality of their lives, including education. So I have to ask all of us, here, is ignoring these issues bad moral judgement or is it criminal negligence?

Who, here, on HubPages does not see a problem with statistics like those in Detroit? Who does not recognize the threat to civilization caused by starving, uneducated masses whose futures are in jeopardy? Do we really believe that increasing the roles of the uneducated and poor will make this a better, safer world? If someone accumulating massive amounts of wealth thinks the money will keep them safe, just remember their security guards will likely come from this pool of the uneducated masses. If you continue to dangle the carrot of wealth in front of people whose choices for their lives are few, you cannot seriously believe that they will be satisfied to help you guard your own wealth and privilege indefinitely. If the population of the underprivileged becomes significant enough, we will eventually have anarchy. If you don't believe this, just look at the recent history of the Middle East and Africa. When will the quality of life on planet earth become important enough to wake up? Will it happen only after our own lives are placed in Jeopardy? Each one of us must answer this question for ourselves, because transformation, planet wide, will likely occur one person at a time.

International Love and Awareness Day

April 15, 2012

If you can offer your hand to one person in need today, by April 15, 2012 the transformation of the quality of life on planet Earth will be well under way.

Teach only love...

Lela 

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Comments 16 comments

Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA

Great job, Lela! I agree wholeheartedly, if we cannot agree on taking care of children, we are shameful, as a people! Food, shelter, education, etc. We have a responsibility to the most helpless of society.

Great article!


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Thank you, Jillian, I really appreciate your taking the time to read my articles and give insightful comments.

It is difficult to believe that Americans have lost their soul, but given we are the most aggressive country in the world and the most violent, it may be true. We certainly have all our priorities wrong.

Thank you, Jillian.

Blessings to you,

Lela


Alaster Packer 5 years ago

I read this twice Lela and could say many things but will let that stand on this wise and compassionate Hub. Yours L


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Alaster, thank you for stopping by to read this hub and comment. I sincerely appreciate your support.

Blessings to you, Alaster.

Lela


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Instead of feeding the voracious beast of militarism which so far has appeared to be counterproductive, how about each individual taking pennies out of their pockets a day and feeding the world. Hungry people are irrational, desparate and dangerous. We are only fooling ourselves if we think that the inbalance in distribution of world wealth and resources can continue indefinately.

Hungry, uneducated people certainly stoke the fires of Al Queda and dealing with this problem would be many times more effective then trying to kill them all. But, the the nefarious forces that would deny a child nourishment seeks its own way based on power and control and is, as such, misplaced. This is the spirit of the GOP/Tea Party folks. Great hub, Lela, thanks


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Dear Credence2, everything you have said in you comment, in my opinion, is true.

Those who hate America, world wide, do so because they see us as irrational aggressors, using most of the world's resources in a wasteful and careless fashion.

We do not take care of our own, so who are we to tell others how to live?

I have said it before, but I will say it again, those who think having most of the power and wealth is a worthy undertaking, will some day find themselves in harm's way as a result of the actions they are taking in present day.

Thank you for this wise comment and blessings to you.

Lela


Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA

Great points! There is a common ground. I find as I understand more and more about the differences in personality type that there is SUCH a difference between types in what to focus on, what is seen as important or not, what we even judge to be expressions of love or not, etc. It takes LOTS of work to understand different perspectives. However, I say there is common ground, too, because we all desire life and survival and other basic principles, as well.


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Thank you, Ms Dee, as you say, "...there is common ground, too, because we all desire life and survival and other basic principles...".

I never want to be faced with the proposition that all life on earth is threatened, but I wonder if that is what it would take to unite us. I'm just thinking outloud, but would like to know what you think about this, too.

Thank you for this thoughtful comment.

Blessings to you,

Lela


Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA

Yes, I know what you mean about it seeming to take catastrophic events to unite people. A sincere concern for others in addition to ourselves is the only thing I think that can bring people together. And the more stuck a person is on themselves, the more inhibited is any ability to be concerned for others. Neither am I thinking of a concern for others that excludes ourselves. That is an extreme that makes the concern unreal and unhealthy and not helpful. It has to be a balance of both because we learn care for others by knowing and understanding the care we ourselves need and require. I'm thinking out loud some here, too. :)


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

This is yet another thought-provoking hub. I don't think I need to tell you where I come down on this.

up/useful and awesome


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Thank you, Ms Dee, very wise words.

Blessings...

Lela


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Fay, thanks for commenting. I do know where you are in all this and certainly appreciate you for it.

As I said, I decided not to have children, myself, but the care of children is one of my greatest concerns. In my opinion, the world of the future should be everyones' concern, but that's just me.

Bless you, Fay.

Lela


amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK

I think that child welfare is a good starting place for a more caring sort of society Lela. However, both parents have to work these days to make ends meet. It’s hard being an attentive parent when you’ve spent much of your day having your posterior kicked by a system, under the control of those who are little more than legitimised gangsters - (especially if you don’t even realise that that’s what’s going on.) It’s a sort of ‘chicken and egg’ conundrum. Neurotic parents are unlikely to produce well balanced offspring.

Maybe we’d benefit from a bit less emphasis on economic growth, and a bit more investment in social capital.


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Hello amillar, thank you for this insightful comment.

I would say that the focus would be better placed on the economic issues of the people, but it seems anything that even comes close to helping people instead corporations seems out of the question for our legislators.

There are tough questions and difficult solutions ahead.

Thank you, amillar

Blessings,

Lela


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Thanks, for coming to this hub. I am glad to read this hub. Very inspiring hub. Thanks for writing this. Rated up! Cheers.....

Prasetio


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Prasetio, thank you for stopping by to read this hub and for your kind comment. I sincerely appreciate you.

Blessings...

Lela

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