Monday, March 2, 2009

Enough is Enough

[image swiped from here]

So this cheery press release for a book was published in a genetic engineering news site (huh?) and allegedly presents epidemiologic data that inequality is harmful to society. There's a website dedicated to this idea, too. Equality is not an unambiguous ideal.

The same Pope (Paul VI) who said "If you want peace, work for justice" also said:
All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.

This assessment hits very close to home for me and for many people, I think, as the world economy implodes. Many people who have always had things handed to them will continue to have things handed to them, although perhaps from fewer sources, but many others will learn or die, and others still will not have any chance to learn, their hard work will just not be enough. Of course my all-time favorite quote about equality is from Animal Farm: "ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS". The rejoinder, from another famous book, would have to be "So it goes."

It doesn't have to go that way. Some very fortunate people use their gifts to help. We don't have to hoard more toys than we can play with, like the kitty above. (Remember the '80's buttons "The one who dies with the most toys wins"?) We can be mindful that enough is enough. That mindfulness can bring equality out of concerted equanimity. A worldwide economic disaster could be the reset button for global culture.

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