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Global Case of "Oliveritis Syndrome"

Updated on June 26, 2017
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long student of psycho-philosophy of living, and a devoted practitioner of many techniques enhancing personal evolution.

With a Mind of His Own

Quite a few years back our son got a tabby kitten from his girlfriend and named him Oliver. I am not a pet person, but kittens are cute and a lot of fun watching and playing with. As he was getting older, Oliver lost all that charm, now displaying that typical lazy and opinionated behavior which probably makes pet lovers opt for dogs.

However, there was one particular feature in his behavior that - with any stretch of tolerance that we usually reserve for animals' limitations - made our Oliver a pretty stupid cat. Namely, he was not toilet trainable, or we just didn't know how to make him recognize the litter box and convince him to use it.

What was making that stupidity even less understandable was the fact that he chose to use the box for No.1 need, but not for No.2.

A Smelly Ritual

He had this peculiar ritual of pooing that kept us hesitant every time whether to just laugh or to kick his disobedient ass out of the door. Well, we opted to be cruel to ourselves, not to the poor little bastard who obviously didn't know any better.

So we just watched him taking a sprint on our hall runner and abruptly stop to make a crease on it. Then he would frantically "dig" an imaginary hole on the bottom of that crease, to end the ceremony by blissfully squeezing out his smelly deposit there.

Programmed to cover it, now he finalized his unholy act by working on the top of the crease, and then nonchalantly walked away to continue napping far enough from his crime.

Is there a point to this story, or was it just to make you think again about your intention to get yourself a kitten?

No Business like Donation Business

Well, so much going on in this world reminds me of Oliver's programmed and compulsive behavior that didn't make any sense, and of our seemingly being stuck with that nonsense. In the rest of this article I wanted to share with you the metaphor of it - while sparring you from the smelly part that we had to go through.

Now, you probably had an opportunity to see on TV at least one of those public appeals for a donation, featuring some African kids with big and begging eyes gazing straight into the camera and tormenting your sympathetic hearts.

Don't take it wrong way, I do have something like a heart myself, but here I am thinking about the big gimmick involved. First of all, whoever paid that lavish amount for that commercial ad - as that's what it was - must have had enough money to also buy a box of Kleenexes for those little runny noses.

Also, they could have made sure that flies didn't navigate around those cute little faces, which was supposed to add to the effect of their poverty. Well, the rumor has it that the executives in some of those charity organizations are making a lavish income and driving themselves in limos while exploiting those poor kids to collect for their comfortable livelihood.

Anyone there to Teach Them?

Whatever hard conditions may cause that massive poverty in some nations, one question keeps imposing itself : What's wrong with those mothers who keep conceiving those unwanted babies that are doomed in advance to live a hell of a life?

Indeed, after some die out of malnutrition or disease, doesn't their motherly instinct make them prevent conception in some even primitive way that they could have "invented"?

Besides, if all that aid keeps coming from the sympathetic United Nations, isn't there any incentive from either the United Nations or the governments of those countries to educate those people in the art of contraception? And, is there any possibility of an end to that aid? For, like the saying goes : "the first couple of days you feed fish to a hungry man - but then you teach him how to catch it".

To me it's a typical example of a global "oliveritis". Just like Oliver was "digging" an imaginary hole in the runner, so are hard working people of the world donating into a situation that shows no intention of improvement. Thinking now about that old saying : "When there is a will, there is a way", it seems like the opposite could make sense as well: "When there is a way, there should be a will".

Preventable - but Who Really Cares?

The World Health Organization could probably come out with some shocking figures of money being spent on treatments of diseases that were preventable with a simple common sense. I have seen a woman, now dead, who was coughing her lungs out and reaching for the pack of cigarettes, as her husband just helplessly shrugged saying: "I must be the biggest fool on the face of the earth to pay for both cigarettes and cough medication."

Oliver's syndrome? A TV documentary was showing a man with a surgical hole on his wind pipe after surviving throat cancer - bringing a cigarette to that hole to take a draw. Other than these extremes, how much of less obvious ways of self-destructive behavior is going on in this world that is boasting for having sent man to the Moon?

Aren't We the Pride of Mother Earth!

It's been said that "it's only human to make mistakes" - but it's downright stupid to repeat them. For here is another relevant saying: "History is teaching us only one thing - that it has never taught us anything."

For look at this "oliverish" military nonsense going on and on in the Middle East. Some half a million corpses and billions of dollars later - we are still there, losing some old friends and gaining some new enemies, as if "frantically working on a runner crease to cover our droppings".

How else do you explain our military presence there, after long time ago it was established for the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction in the area? After having realized that, it would have been normal, sane, and logical to withdraw from there.

But no, we needed that war more than those folks needed a silly version of a "democracy". We are proud "olivers" showing off our claws in the area where no one for some centuries got the idea that there is something like a litter box to use. Like the late Benny Hill used to say in one of his comedy shows: "What a lovely bunch of coconuts!"

My Party - Your Party - Same Party

In his classical children's book "The Gulliver's Travels" Daniel Dafoe is telling us - little and grownup kids - the story of these two idiotic kings about to start a war over the issue "on which side - smaller or bigger - should boiled eggs be opened".

To me it somewhat looks like this deceiving antagonism between republicans and democrats. For even some highly educated, informed, and observant political analysts are telling us how it comes to the same which party gets to be in power. Except for some minor differences that might as well be sneered at, neither of them are delivering that higher standard of living which would be suggested by otherwise an incredibly rich country.

Just like ourselves looking at Oliver doing his indecent smelly act, so are the tax payers looking at their governments spending their money on everything else but those basic human needs - like let's say a free medical coverage.

Oliveritis Medley

- A lawyer makes anywhere from $50 to $1000 an hour for his services - whereas a surgeon who saves your life on the table makes miserable $110. No one around to look into that unfair deal?

- Politicians whose comfortable working ambient is nowhere to compare to hazardous work of policemen, miners, and firemen - and they get to retire early as well. By what logic? If there is no logic, then why bother buying a "litter box" - let's just be happy watching.

- Fossil fuel responsible for much of climate changes, disease, and political dependency on producers - keeps its status of "black gold" - despite available and unexplored alternatives.

- Standard of living could increase almost overnight if the governments were not distributing lavish amounts to space programs, wars, some questionable foreign aids, bribes to the countries of some strategic importance, arm race, and an oversized bureaucracy. When you think of it, which part of this list reminds you of a "democratic" care for the interests of the majority?

If Watching ever Becomes Tiresome

In this article I have tried to point at a possibility that we massively share a blind spot in our vision range when it comes to certain counterproductive and aimless behaviors of those who are tailoring our limitations from their high pedestal.

Then we keep electing them out of some installed programs and routines in our public minds, not considering any possible options, seemingly too tired of the history repeating itself as to be in a mood to "rock the boat" of the political status quo.

However, as we may increasingly become aware of our mistakes, we may start correcting our support to those in the position of decision making in matters that directly or indirectly affect our lives. I used the metaphor of a cat who kept his nonsensical routine, while we just reduced our response to watching it.

By the way, Oliver died many years ago. In the meantime, the world seems to keep his legacy very much alive.


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    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 19 months ago from Canada

      Caleb - Thank you so much, you are very generous with your compliment about my looks considering my chronological age. As for the rest of your comment, you seem to be much more informed than I or probably most of those who blindly give to those charities not checking their status beforehand. Helping those in a real need is a very noble thing to do, and you are obviously one of such generous souls.

      Thank you for these informative details in your comment, and have yourself a great day. - Val.

    • Caleb DRC profile image

      Caleb DRC 19 months ago

      Well, first of all, congratulations are merited to you and your wife for 51 years of marriage. You look 45 in the photo, not 69.

      You have many good points in your article here. I agree with you concerning what you said about charity, and the many flaws the 300 billion dollar industry has, not least of which is the CEO's driving in limos. Before I give, I check them out with Charity Navigator, who lists much valuable information including how much the CEOs get paid. There are some really responsible ones available as m25m, FMSC, Orphan Grain Train( CEO does not get compensated), HSUS, Vitamin Angels, and Compassion International. At one time--perhaps still--m25m had 60,000 volunteers, and FMSC had 120,000; OGT and the others have them also. This provides great leverage for our giving.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 19 months ago

      Hi Vladimir. You have introduced extremely well written our present days social system's tragedy.

      Oliver's behavior would be normalized if left to live free, out of domain organized system;

      he would 'provide' for his need and find proper spot to fertilize the soil for better crops.

      ( In old-real-life times, if "Olivers" did not "feed" themselves, died out before could procreating.)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 19 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting and you shared such a thoughtful hub. Your insights are tremendous!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 20 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Val...This may be far too much reality & common sense for most people to handle all at once!

      Foolishness & waste will always take the lead~~Why? If only we could figure this out. You have made very accurate statements that few could argue. Too bad our leaders can't add 2 plus 2.

      The continual circle of useless activities & stupid behavior goes on & on with no end in sight. As we know, it does not take a rocket scientist to clearly see the craziness.

      However, it does take resolve & positive reaction to have the strength & determination to stop all the insanity & make our world a better, stronger, more peaceful one for all. Are there those who can be smarter than Oliver one day? If not, it seems we're doomed.

      Thank you for this much needed eye-opener. You encourage people to think & see the undeniable truth. Peace, Paula

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 20 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      This is a very interesting hub which I enjoyed reading. There is indeed a stupidity in a lot of useless behavior today.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 20 months ago from Canada

      Linda- I am happy that you found something interesting in my hub. You are certainly one generous commenter with your choice of words, and I deeply appreciate each and every one of them. - Have a wonderful evening, my friend. - Val

    • Linda Robinson60 profile image

      Linda Robinson 20 months ago from Cicero, New York

      Wow Val what a fun insightful hub, as all of yours. You have such an amazing way to use your words and to spark your thoughts. Fantastic Val. Awesome writing. Linda