Personal Correspondence Pt. 3

My friend to me: I can’t really argue with anything you say because your points are based upon earlier assumptions that I don’t agree with. Even in the first paragraph you say several things that I disagree with, such as ‘people are a result of the system’ and ‘the system is designed to have zero compassion.’

Why do you say the system is designed to have zero compassion? What exactly do you mean by the system? Who designed the system this way? How does it effectively create zero compassion in the populace?

Before I can debate your further points, I need answers to these questions.

My response: if you want to be a part of a (any) community, then i think it is reasonable to assume that it is incumbent upon you to do your share of supporting the well-being of that community and those individuals within it.  by your not moving out of this country, you are, in effect, choosing to be a part of this national community.  everyone in this community should give according to his/her abilities and take according to his/her needs.  this means, in essence, i believe that those that are in need of such things as food, shelter, rehab, etc. should get it.  the resources for this assistance should come from those most able to afford it: it’s called progressive taxation.

i for one, want to live in a progressive society that is compassionate toward others’ suffering.

apparently you do not.  you seem to believe in an every-man-for-himself regardless of what kind of family he was born into.  born to addicted, abusive degenerates?  too bad for you.  i  got mine, so go out and get yours.  of course if they take your advice, left to their own limited devices, they will take it from people like you, living your happy, wealthy life with your excess to “be taken.”

if you wish for a dog-eat-dog world, you may be the victim of its fruits.

the system as i actually did explain earlier is designed from legislation of taxation, lending, property ownership, corporate participation, higher education, and free-market capitalism to favor the wealthy.  i agree with you that those that want to swim against the flow have a chance… almost like winning the lottery.  there is not guarantee of success despite how earnestly some may try to educate and enrich themselves.

take someone like georgie bush, however.  a total moron with not skills whatsoever.  born to an incredibly wealthy familiy and now he is President, ruining this country at every level.

all i am trying to say (which you keep avoiding) is that i believe there should be more compassion for our fellow humans’ suffering… especially those individuals in our own communities, our neighbors, our fellow Americans.  And there should be less greedy hoarding of resources/wealth… there is plenty to go around.  you don’t seem to want to address your lack of compassion.  you keep saying, anyone can get educated and no one is struggling for food or shelter and i don’t understand the premise of your argument, so i cannot address your points.

comprende compassion?  te gustas compassion?  if you had your way, it seems like it would be a Mad Max world… the strong oppressing the weak and no one getting any assistance from anyone else.

that is not the kind of world i want to live in.

My friend to me: So give me some specifics. How do you decide who gets the benefits and who gives?

My response: i feel you are being intentionally obtuse.  you still refuse to address the fact that you apparently have no compassion for your fellow human beings.

look inward, my friend.  it is easy to be callous and angry and shut one’s self off from our social obligations.  for we are social animals… it is our nature undeniable.  we are apes evolved just enough to get ourselves into quite a bit of trouble.  but we are also evolved enough to choose compassion over anger, understanding over fear, and peace over war.

the older part of your brain may be dominating this particular conversation of ours, but i know you are a highly intelligent, caring individual.  it is the older part of our brains that gets us stuck in wars such as the one in Iraq with all the chest-beating and unnecessary machismo… that invariably leads to more death and destruction than it does to solving problems.

i know what it is to be angry and want to turn away from other people’s misfortunes that they bring upon themselves.  i am not advocating some kind of universal panacea that can help everyone with all  their problems.  some people do deserve the situations they are in.  some people make conscious decisions that land them in trouble one way or another.  not everyone can be helped.  i know that.

but in this, the richest country in human history, i believe that there should be less suffering.  and the biggest unnecessary cause of human suffering is an unfair hoarding of wealth and resources.  like i said, there is enough to go around to eliminate unnecessary suffering in this country.  how it gets divided is irrelevant for our purposes here.  that is a red herring.  you and i are not going to solve the problem of human suffering.

so the real issue becomes: do you have compassion for other humans’ suffering?  i am not asking you to sacrifice anything.  it is just a simple question.  and the answer seems to be – surprisingly to me – that, no, you don’t.  that’s okay.  we all have our quirks.  i am just a little shocked is all.  i didn’t expect that would be the case.  doesn’t make you bad, and doesn’t lessen my respect for you as my friend.  but it clearly is something that defines your outlook on life as it relates to the community we live in.


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