‘We’re willing to die more than you want to live’.
This is something that horrifies us. But for such people, known as shahids, it is business as usual: a human life isn’t worth a penny. Sure, you will go directly to heaven, according to their beliefs. By the way, all the people whose lives are taken by shahid also go to heaven. Think about it.
Now we’re back to our so-called contemporary selfish society. I understand that in Russia a human life weighs less than in the West, but still incomparably more than in ‘pure’ Third World countries such as most of the Moslem lands or India or China, etc.
It used to have even less value in Soviet times. During the Second World War the Soviet Union lost between 27 to 41 million lives… both military and civilian… horrible, cruel numbers… To tell you the truth, such casualties happened not only because of the Germans but in a big part because life of a Red Army soldier cost nothing, less than cheap. Nobody counted, it simply wasn’t taken into consideration. There even were norms that allowed you to reimburse the casualties and fight the enemy once again with new reinforcements. The commanders could ‘spend’ definite percentages of personnel to apply for new soldiers.
Now things are changing. Stalin’s era is gone but I would prefer that Russian society would still be a bit selfish or more self-respecting in terms of human lives than it is now. In the past, too many lives have perished just for some very unnecessary purposes; people have gladly sacrificed themselves for some very dubious goals – for the state’s needs, not theirs.
Such self-respect would, I believe, lead to more respect to others that we also lack as a society. Only then would people care more about others, but they should start from themselves.
So in Russia, I think, more care about ‘me’ would finally lead to more care about ‘them’.
Me, Me, Me. Is that what we’ve become?
I suppose it’s quite natural to be self-obsessed to some degree; after all, if you don’t love and care for yourself quite enough, the consequences can be severely damaging. But what is enough? Where is that line which, once crossed, sees you become selfish to the point where we won’t only judge you negatively, but your disregard for others around you becomes toxic.
I wasn’t around at the time, thankfully, but I have read so many accounts of the ordinary British people’s response to the enemy that was Germany during the two world wars. The population, many of whom paid the ultimate price, and all of whom went through great deprivation, seemed to be as one. Us against them. Pulling together, whatever the cost.
So many Brits feel annoyed at having to wear masks, endure lockdowns, and being dealt hands by a government that, for the most part, doesn’t appear to know what it’s doing. So much discord and disharmony. Sod everybody else: “I’m young, I won’t get ill, you can’t stop me from going out and mixing in large crowds, ‘cos that’s not fair. It’s infringing my liberties!” Spreading the virus amongst the vulnerable – no problem; “they’re going to die of something pretty soon anyway, look how old they are.”
Today we are all in the midst of another war, only this time the enemy is invisible. Are we all together in this fight, as in World Wars 1 and 2? Are we heck! I’ve never known such division.
How have we got here? Two reasons for you to ponder. The younger generation in particular have had it too easy for too long. Spoilt rotten, if you like. They are finding it so, so difficult to cope with World War 3, which it probably feels like to them.
And the other reason is social media. For all the good it can do, at the other end of the spectrum it utterly stinks. And for too many of us, it’s distorted our reality and it’s turning an entire generation into a bunch of zealous narcissists. Everyone individually appears to be competing with every other individual on the planet over how many likes, how many friends, followers, retweets, and any other form of approval they can achieve. But there appears to be no sense of collective harmony. Me, Me, Me.
I once read an opinion piece where the author posed a serious question of why someone would wish their parents a happy birthday on Facebook, knowing full well those folks don’t use the app and won’t see the greeting. So why bother? It’s all about being obsessed with yourself. Self-promotion, even though the rest of the world has no interest in your parent’s birthday whatsoever. Me, Me, bloody me. Yes, it’s what we have become, and the stench is terrific.
Me, Me, Me. Is that what we’ve become?
It’s not often I let an opportunity to rage against the one-percent slip by. And I shall not disappoint today. The American rich have smeared the feces of me, me, me across the globe. A couple of years back I read about a study that looked at volunteer hours vs. income on a state-by-state basis in the US. Of the five states with the lowest rates of volunteer activities, four were among the five highest in terms of income.
The rich believe that the world owes them a life-style. They fancy themselves as smarter than anyone else and they EARN everything they have. They grant themselves tax break after tax break. All the while complaining that if forced to pay workers a living wage, they will simply fire half of them.
Well guess what, America is waking up to these precious debutants. A CNN article explains: “A recent Monster.com survey found that 95% of workers are thinking about looking for a new job.” Ninety-five percent? In other words, pretty much everybody except the higher paid management.
This is not “me, me, me,” this is: “I’m not going to be your victim anymore.” The average American, like folks around the world, have a sense of community and wants to make this world a better place.
I am most certainly not a Trumpist but I do not question their sincerity, patriotism, or sense of community. These people know they have been played for fools and they are mad as hell. I believe the hyper-rich, like Tucker Carlson, are still playing them… but that’s another Blog. It’s hard for folks to feel sorry for poor migrants when they can’t make this month’s car payment. Yes, I just said that.
The rich consume while the rest of Americans give. Vast segments of American society give; sometimes in ways that may not be obvious to outsiders. Example: have you ever watched YouTube? Sure you have. Thousands of people make videos on every subject you can imagine… and many, I don’t know the percentage, live off the kindness of others. Millions of people give a couple of dollars every month so these creators can make their little videos.
So me, me, me, is what my tribe is known for overseas. It’s truly unfortunate because it is not how the average American thinks. My British friends are, rightly, pissed that Americans swooped in, bought their favorite football (soccer) clubs, and tried to create a new league. Screw the towns, screw the fans; me, me, me. Mo money fo’ me! After all, it worked in America.
I hope it will not work much longer. The question is, will the US destroy itself before the one-percent can be brought to heel? That question remains unanswered: the rich have their own political party, their own cable TV networks, and they have fooled many. The rest of the nation suffers under their oppression. There is no longer a large middle-class: that money was transferred to the one-percent years ago. But it’s not enough! Me needs mo.