Thursday, 23 October 2008


I've been thinking about the bigger picture related to my last post for the last couple of hours based on the comment that Absolute Vanilla left me. She talked about the need to accept similarities, rather than differences between people. We all only have one life, we are alive at the same time as millions of others we should surely be working together for the greater good in this global village, than destroying ourselves and the planet.

Added to that Val another blogger is waiting in Africa for the rain to fall.
Angela her friend earns money from some teaching in Germany and sends it to Val who takes it to help build and run a school in Mozambique. She lives, I think, in Botswana.

Greg Mortenson, he of the book Three Cups of Tea, is raising funds in America to build schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Mother Teresa came from Eastern Europe and devoted herself to establishing the Sisters of Mercy in Calcutta.

The world over there are fantastic people who care enough to put themselves out of their comfort zones to help their fellow man.

I feel humbled by such acts of kindness and generosity of the soul.

Surely now in this time of crisis on the planet, whether related to the weather or to finances, we should be starting to care more for our fellow man.

Can any of us really say why one group of people, based on their colour or religion should be frightening to another person.
Obviously, I understand that anyone with very extreme views is difficult to cope with when they are saying their way is the only way, whatever point of view they are expressing

But other than them, surely we should live and let live. More wars are fought under the flag of religion than for any other reason.... Why? What gives anyone group the right to believe they are right in their beliefs than any other group. And I understand this personally as my Mother was an Irish Catholic and she was excommunicated by the Church for marrying my Father who was an English Protestant.

I believe that we all have the right to choose to be the people we want to be, but only within the confines of letting others believe what they want to believe.

I am not frightened, I don't think of any type of person on this planet. I am scared of gangs of youths when they are drunk, as they are more likely to be out of control.
I am scared by fanatics of any description. I would not deny them the right to have those views, just as long as they don't tell me how to live my life based on their views being the right ones.

We live in troubled times on this earth all of us, and in some places it is worse than others. So we may in the West be frightened of how we're going to make ends meet. But by and large we can put food on our tables, the people of Zimbabwe, can't do that anymore. Admittedly it is a man made crisis happening there, but the people didn't ask for it. They had it done to them.

The rains, so desperately needed in Botswana need to come before the animals and people start to die of dehydration. In Pakistan and India the floods have devastated huge areas of land and killed hundreds of people. And those that are left are dying of typhoid and dysentery because of filthy water.

And on and on, the world over. Each crisis as it hits an area affects that place. Nowhere is safe, there are just degrees of pain.

I don't think I've ever had so many letters from charities as this year, begging me for my support. And I do support them, to what extent is between me and them. But I have to make choices about how much I give and to whom, as I can't give to all. And I feel bad every time I ignore another envelope.

The banks with their chaos of the moment, why did that happen and in America of all places, land of the free. Seems to me that it's the land of the free as long as you don't live near New Orleans, for example. How the worlds only superpower can justify how the poor in America live is another thing beyond me.

It's time it all stopped, the greed and power for a few and the deprivation of many.

We are destroying our world, and it's not ours to destroy, it is the legacy we are leaving our children and theirs, but what will they inherit?

BTW I didn't take this picture!


Queen Vixen said...

I really do agree with everything you have said. Thinking in systems is so much more productive. The entire philosophy of politics needs to change. Its not about how much money we can make, but about sustaining life.

Val said...

Time and time again we hear of politicians squandering millions, nay, billions while the people's situation deteriorates. Where is the altruism in politics these days? My take on big powerful religeons is that they misuse the considerable influence they have over simple souls to gain political power - that sucks too. In this way they are light years away from the basic tennets of the originators.
When it all gets too big for my brain (which doesnt take long) I think that if everyone just did what little they could do within their own sphere of influence to help each other along, then that would add up to a whole lot!
Great post - thank you!

Mel said...

I'd like to think people are dancin' as fast as they can...... I fear that's just not true.

I can be such an idealist.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

So true. Unfortunately, a lot of these charities seem to have parked their money in Icelandic banks. Not a good move, as we all know now. My family in the States and I are going to give to charity this year for Christmas instead of each other. A small gesture on our part, but a beginning.

Pixie said...

Keyword: fanatic. That's what caught my eye, put the hitch in my breath.

Those who refuse to see the millions of shades of gray, frighten me.

The only things that are truly black and white are the letters and this page... and if you notice, that is not even the case.



Ronjazz said...

The America that I see at present, FB, is the same one you see -- selfish in many ways right now, purposeful in its greed, and so, so ripe for change. You will see, once the right man gets elected, the true country that this can be. There is LOTS of repair to be done. But suffice it to say that there is a vast array of folks here who totally agree with you... that you SHOULD help the other guy. That you SHOULD do something good for someone every day. That you SHOULD be the example you always set yourself up to be. True change in this country is always difficult...but once it's done, it puts us Americans a further up on the evolutionary ladder of philanthropy and genuine concern and kindness.

Sorry...your post hit a bit of a tender spot. I am so embarrassed that the poor here are treated so cavalierly...and that the world looks at us right now as the bull in the china shop.

darth sardonic said...

these really are desperate, scary, and bitter times, but it seems that in these times the greatest heroes, many unsung, seem to arise. i think you might easily be one of those people, miss pixie the fire byrd. as i think most of my pals list might be as well. here's to us pulling together and weathering it all.

Pam said...

What is that saying about the chickens coming home to roost? Too many people have been getting away with too much for too long.You wrote well regarding your point of view Fire Byrd.Greed is not good. It never has been and it never will be.I could not believe the ready acceptance of the "greed is good"philosophy when things were expanding big-time in the monetary world.Too many were ready to jump on the bandwaggon.(Some religions,as you know have based their fortunes on it from time immemorial!). I always felt the money that I gave to the church helped to contribute to palaces and real estate,(pyramid selling concept??) so I much prefer now to contibute directly to a charity that is accountable, and which encompasses the education and well being of one particular child and their community.I hope the throes of change are happening in America, but even the amount of money involved in elections on the campaign trail appalls me.A lot of us would be horrified at what our taxes are spent on, and this bail- out is one of them. We who live simply should not have to pay for the excesses of others.When I see any fat-cats helping out where it really counts,physically, not attending a token nosh-up black-tie charity event, then I'll be impressed.Here in my state, the Anglican church is selling off some of its prime real estate to fund pay-outs for its child abuse victims. So it should be.Misdirected use of power...abuse of power...this present situation..let's hope we learn something from it.Phew Fire Byrd, you got me going there!

Fire Byrd said...

This is wonderful the fact you've taken the time to make such wise and sage comments. It is from small acorns etc.I don't know what we can do except be aware and give what we can when we can, whether financial or emotional.Lets hope for a brighter future for all of us and more equality in the world generally.

Sorrow said...

I am really frustrated..
have tried commenting on this post for 2 days...
if this gets through...
Well I know something funky is up with my browser, cause i am on a totally different computer.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Great post, Fyre Bird. We are a strange species, as my alien chicken pal, Atyllah the Hen, will tell you.

You spoke of Zimbabwe. I have a young Zimbabwean woman who comes in to clean and iron once a week. She's a refugee having fled Mugabe's Zimbabwe after the market where she sold home made clothes was burnt to the ground after Mad Dog Bob decided the majority of stall holders were not his supporters. Now she's here - and in May this here a massive uprising of xenophobic violence saw her on the run again. I took her and her husband in for a month until the situation calmed down and they were able to return to the place where they live. But as she said to me, she's scared living there, but they can't afford to live elsewhere. She's scared because even though the violence has "stopped", foreigners are still attacked, simply because they are foreign.

And then you add to that the insanity and greed in the markets and what people have been allowed to get away with. And you contemplate that alongside the abject poverty of millions and you realise we live in an insane world - and one with very whacked values.

And no, I won't even get started on the role religions play...
We need to wake up and realise we are all one.

Fire Byrd said...

sorrow, hon glad you got through in the end even if you are grumpy!!!

AV(and A)I wondered who the A was!
Thanks for sharing that story, it sounds unbelievably horrific for that young woman. Way beyond my comprehension. I may see many things wrong with where I live and their is racial disharmarmany but nothing on the scale that other countries are subjected to.
I think you are right we need to have a wake up call.
My fear is that we are putting all this expectation on Obama to change America, and I'm not sure whether he is up to the job.
But if it doesn't start there in America then how the rest of the world is going to change is beyond me.
Unless it is a grass roots movement and maybe that is what this is all about, slowly making the world aware.
It was pleasing to hear that Bhurma, despite it's terrible regime and trying to control it's people recently, actually couldn't stop the word being spread by the internet about what was going on there.
ooops ranting again.

virtual voyage said...

Guess the picture is actually a lot bigger than we think; in a shrinking world the root cause of all wars - territorial conflict (real or ideological) - is going to increase.

Think this post shows that the similarities/difference thing is double edged - minority groups can become threatened on realizing they are just that with the increase in mass communication.

Who's world is it, anyway?

nitebyrd said...

Being in a quagmire of my own right now, I've not been looking at the world's problems much. I feel them on the fringes of my mind. I have to limit my support to a small number of charities, ones that mean something to me. The enorminty of the problems and how things can be fixed is beyond me. The hopelessness right now could put me ove the edge. You have said things that I feel but can't express. I try to do what I can and wonder if everyone else could do the same.

Walker said...

I think the biggest fear is the fear of the unknown.
We fear what we don't understand and what we don't understand we condem and try to destroy.
It's one of our faults.
Couple that with prejudice and we are what we fear the most.