Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Priorities

I'm reading Peter Kocan's Fresh Fields. So far, it's a beautiful book. It's about a lonely teenager; a great illustration of alienation. I can relate to the lost and lonely feelings in the book, but fortunately for me, those episodes in my life were sporadic. For the kid in the book, it's pretty much a constant.

The book makes me think about how hard it is for sometimes to live in this world. For some, it's hard to find the very basic necessities of life— food, water, a place to shower, and a place to sleep. Then it can also be hard to find the other necessities— someone to talk to, someone to laugh with, someone to take your side, someone to BE there for you.

There IS human kindness on this earth, but it can be far and few between. And sometimes I think we have our priorities messed up.

I watched a clip, from Body Work on the Australian screen website. It's a documentary about death. The clip I watched shows the cremation process. It looks awfully complicated to me...and expensive. They burn the body with a wooden coffin. Isn't that a waste of resources? I mean maybe it's not a big deal. Trees are wasted quite often. Why should I pick on a cremation coffin? But whatever. It seems to me there'd be a more efficient way of disposing of the human body. We don't look for efficient though. Why? The human corpse is sacred. And that's fine. It seems to be a cross-cultural thing. For some reason, we care about dead bodies and want to take care of them.

The problem is we sometimes seem to care about dead bodies more than living ones. You can go to a funeral and see people sobbing hysterically about someone who has just been lost. I have to wonder, were all those people there for that person when they were alive? I mean no one can be there for everyone ALL of the time. Of course not. But how many people at the funeral frequently ignored the starred attraction when he or she was alive?

In our world, it seems much easier to love someone once they're dead. It's harder to give love and attention to the living.

And another group showed with love?

Embryos.

I have talked to people recently who are very passionate about unborn humans, feeling these unborn humans are the most innocent of all and should be protected.

It would be nice if all embryos could have a chance at life. Although if they all had a chance, things might get even more crowded. Do we have a room for all these embryos? I seriously doubt it.

The other question is do we have enough love for all these embryos?

I really don't think so.

Now for the record, I'm with Peter Singer when it comes to issues of abortion. Unlike Christians (and people of other similar religious groups) I'm not a speciesist I don't see humans as being more valuable than other animals simply because they're human. If I had a choice between saving a cow calf or a toddler, I'd pick the toddler. A toddler is smarter than a calf (I think?). And humans are usually more intelligent than cows. An increase in intelligence is going to equal an increase in the sense of loss. I think the human parents would miss their child more than the cow parents. And I'd want to take the action that would bring the least amount of suffering.

But if the choice was between saving a calf or a cluster of human cells, I'd choose the calf. And I would make the same choice if the human pregnancy had progressed beyond a cluster of cells.
Let's pretend though that I am a speciesist like most other humans. Let's pretend I believe human life IS more valuable than other life....no matter what the circumstance or stage of development. What is the point of preventing abortion? What is the point of putting so much emphasis on saving these unborn babies?

Is there really a place for all of them in this world? Is there enough love to go around? Are there enough adults out there willing and wanting to adopt a child? Is there enough free medical care to go around (for those with families who can't afford it)? Is there enough healthy and affordable food for everyone? Is there enough affordable housing?

If I was one of those people who valued human life over all other life, I'm not sure fighting against abortion would be the best way to save innocent little fetus things. I think the best way to fight would be to....

a)adopt a child
b) give assistance/sponsor a single mother (emotional, practical, and financial)
c) give money to a charity that builds homes for families in need. That way if a family gets pregnant with their fourth child, they have a place for it to sleep.
d) Fight for gay couples to adopt children. That way more homes open up to potential humans.
e) Encourage the government to offer better work benefits for parents....make it less of a hardship to have children.

Just basically....do things for the children who are already born and alive.

I'm trying to think of an analogy here. I think I got one....probably a bit crazy.

Well, it's kind of like throwing a fit because no one has come to your party. You invite everyone, no one shows up, and you act like it's the worse thing in the world. But you did nothing to prepare for the party. You need to buy/prepare awesome food, get cool decorations, have music ready, and make things great for your guests. THEN you worry about inviting people, and having them show up.

I think we need to make the world more awesome and welcoming. Then we can hope that makes less people want to opt out of bringing new babies into the world.