H.O.W. Wasting Food Is LIke Stealing From the Poor: A Moment With Bill Reflection
On June 5th Pope Francis denounced consumerism and what he called the “culture of waste” of modern economies, especially with regards to food. During his weekly speech he said: “Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry.”
His speech came on the day that the United Nations launched an anti-food waste campaign. According to the UN, 1.3 billion tons of food, about one-third of the world’s production, are wasted or lost every year. In the United States, 30% of all food is thrown away each year.
Pope Francis went on to say that consumerism has “dulled the moral sense of humanity to the point that when some homeless people die of cold on the streets, it is not news. In contrast, a 10-point drop on the stock markets of some cities is a tragedy.”
Right on, Pope! High five, Dude!
Dulled the moral sense of humanity…..
So I ask you: Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?
Perhaps I’ll start my rant by saying I am not a huge supporter of Pope Francis. I’m not a detractor either; I simply don’t care one way of another about the Catholic pope or for that matter the Catholic Church. I could be snippy and point out that some of the largest land owners in the world are Catholic parishes, and I could be doubly snippy and point out that the Pope doesn’t exactly live a Spartan lifestyle, but that would be missing the main point of this article.
“Consumerism has dulled the moral sense of humanity.” I challenge anyone to argue against that point.
We as a society bitch and moan about major corporations and their lack of social conscience, but we miss the central point, namely that major corporations are major because we, the consumer, made them that way.
Since the Industrial Revolution, when an agrarian society was transformed into an industrial society, our collective urge to buy has far outdistanced our collective urge to be compassionate. We work, we buy, we save a pittance, and then we get up the next morning and do it again. We are bombarded by commercials claiming that our lives will be fulfilled if we buy the latest gadget, so we hock the house and mortgage our children’s future so we can have just a bit more convenience.
Color that hair, flatten that tummy, bring zest back to that aged sex life and trade-in for newer and bigger and hey, if you don’t have the cash then use that plastic, baby!
Dumster diving anyone?
A New Love Affair
Where once we were in love with the purity of living, we now prostrate ourselves in adoration to the almighty dollar sign, and self-worth seems to be dependent upon the amount of possessions we can gather.
We are the new Roman Empire, but rather than feed the Christians to the lions, today we feed the poor to the bulls of Wall Street and pray to whatever God we believe in that we are not the next entrée. We worship the Kardashians and live vicariously through “reality” television and then complain when we find out that their reality is light years removed from ours.
We step over the homeless as we search for the next great sale, and when the red light sales have ended we say a silent prayer that our Visa once again provided a boost to our self-esteem.
The moral sense of humanity…do we even know what that means?
Let me pose a very simple question. Is the life of a human being worth more, or less, than the profit margin of a corporation?
You see, I happen to believe that Pope Francis was being accurate and brutally honest in his assessment. There are homeless dying daily in the major cities of the world and yet they go unnoticed. There are children abused daily in the major cities of the world and yet, once again, they are ignored…..and yet, a ten point drop in the stock market is world news and in fact a source of mourning for many.
How did we manage, as a society, to lose our way so badly?
I know for a fact that if I were given five minutes of airtime on NBC, and I talked about this topic, that most people would agree with me, and then they would go right out and continue their current lifestyles which, in fact, continue this insanity.
The Blame Game
We have allowed the governments of the world to strip us of our rights. We have allowed the corporations to grow fat and happy off of our sweat and blood. We know the truth, and the truth frightens us, and that fear looks for a scapegoat, and goodness gracious the scapegoats are easy to find. It must be those damned minorities. It must be the unemployed. It must be the politicians and it must be the gay Liberal degenerates or the gun-toting Conservative warmongers, but not once do we look in the mirror and see the truth.
We go to the polls and we vote for the lesser of evils, and whatever hope we may have had prior to election day is quickly squashed the day after.
And so it goes.
Allow me to revisit an old saying by one of my favorite politicians: The buck stops here!
We have nobody to blame but ourselves for our current Age of Degeneracy. We are, in fact, the driving force behind the moral sense of humanity being dulled. Either we are part of this insane consumerism or we are not a part but we have remained silent. The only thing I would add to Pope Francis’s words are that complacency and apathy are equal contributors to this return to demorilazation.
Is it really possible that people can go through life repeating the mantra “if it isn’t happening to me then it isn’t happening?” As long as I’m not homeless then homelessness must not exist. As long as my child isn’t sold into sex trafficking then sex trafficking is a myth. As long as I have food to waste then there is no hunger in the world.
Is that really possible? Are there people so diluted as to believe that, or are they simply callous and uncaring….or….are they so afraid that it could happen to them that they refuse to acknowledge that there is any problem at all? I suspect that may well be the case. Like a little child squeezing their eyes shut in hopes that the Boogy Man will go away, millions of people have developed select blindness so that their own personal fears will be alleviated.
A Moment with Bill....I Cry
Reality Is a Bitter Pill to Take
And my bitter pill is realizing that this article will have little effect on the world and its problems. No matter how much I rant and rave, very little will change. No matter how aware I am of our societal problems and not matter how many windmills I topple, the twin-headed monsters of complacency and apathy will continue to feed upon the souls of my countrymen and women.
So I should just quit, right? I should just join the numb and insensitive and blithely go about my day as though nothing were wrong.
Sorry, I can’t do that.
H.O.W. are things going to change? They will change when a small group of determined people stand up and declare that humanness is nothing to be ashamed of. They will change when people like you and me band together and make change happen. They will change when love overcomes greed.
Several months ago I was approached by a staff member of HubPages. She politely suggested that I should not put the H.O.W. acronym in my article titles because they had no SEO value and thus would cut down on my views. I was impressed at the time with her professionalism and the caring manner in which she contacted me about that matter, but I have had some time to reflect and now I have a different perspective.
I simply don’t care about SEO and keywords any longer. What I care about is Humanity One World, and spreading the message of making a difference in this world. I don’t care if HubPages thinks that H.O.W. is not worthy of their site…..I know that H.O.W. is worthy of any caring human being with a conscience.
HubPages should be embracing H.O.W. and encouraging writers to stand up and make a difference instead of wallowing in the shadows sending disparaging comments about profit margin and bottom line. Come to think of it, HubPages should be supportive of writers…it is, after all, a writer’s site…rather than be supportive of some corporate entity that produces templates rather than encourages good writing.
So I Will Continue
It is Friday morning, the 14th day of June, 2013. It is the first day of a new era, an era of love and empathy. It is the day that a new moral sense of humanity was born.
Yes, I know it is a huge undertaking, but I also know that huge undertakings are nothing if we are determined enough.
Today we move forward. Today we pick up the sword and begin slaying the dragons. Today we spit in the eye of apathy and we demand that others care. Today we become, once again, human beings!
H.O.W. will we make it happen?
Love, baby, love!
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”