Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores
Nor lose the common touch Sept. 29.2005
Two hurricanes visited our land and a nation divided in so many ways found common cause. With apologies to Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936, my version of his poem, "If" is assuring to us that we are one nation.
"If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch:
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all (people) count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty secondsâ€™ worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything thatâ€™s in it,
And - what is more - youâ€™ll be a (human being)!"
The"common touch" in Rudyard Kiplingâ€™s poem admonishes us to be human. I am concerned these days with the way individuals in our world behave as if they were super human - yet claim to be "ordinary" people. We are quick to find fault. We talk about persons who are poor or addicted or in trouble as if they were objects in need rather than persons in distress. We make decisions about rebuilding or recovery without including the persons and places, without remembering their history. New Orleans and the whole southern coast is a point in case.
I am sure that all of us have written persons off because of their failures or faults. We have made statements about the future. Our government was slow to act because "things usually work out."
Two concepts that nourish our citizenship are equality and humanity. In the middle of the hurricane season dangerous storms destroyed homes and lives. The response of people was not a surprise, it is the way we move to help people in need. The way we collect money and necessities at Christmas time is seen clearly in the response to what Katrina did to New Orleans and Rita has done to the Texas Coast. This is not charity, this is support and help to our citizenry.
The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity all responded immediately. They were already in the business of helping people, this is what they do. The action of these agencies and the response by the public is also what we do. This is not government, nor religion, this is the "common touch." This is seeing persons as human beings who are in distress. We move to help.
We act, not to and for, but with and from. We donâ€™t give to those "poor, needy people". We find ways to relieve the present need and to find ways to deal with what this beloved earth does to us. This is not "set in stone" nor is it pie in the sky
by and by, it is ongoing and personal and it is what we do all the time.
Teddy Roosevelt wrote , "do what you can, with what you have, and where you are. This is our authority, that we care deeply, slowly, in small ways, where we are." Our common touch is a wonderful thing, it often frustrates us when it is abusive. We can take comfort that when the chips are down, we can and do take action for persons and places in need without a thought beyond the need.
Created by. Last Modification: Saturday 09 of September, 2006 22:08:54 UTC by .