Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sweat Equity & Greed

Last month I posted about the John Lennon song "War Is Over". While some just look at this as a pretty Christmas song they miss the truth that lies in plain sight. This song should be re-written and made for all year long. The message of peace and living together harmoniously should be a message that we share every day of the year and not just the last few days of a year. This is almost understandable to have a song about peace played when it is when giving a look back at my last post which covered resolutions. We tend to use the last few days of the calendar year to look back and take stock in our lives. I am always amazed at the amount of time, energy and resources expended from mid November till the first of January. Tears fill my heart when ads come on promoting some sort of fundraiser for charities providing food for the poor and needy for the holidays. When I go to stores and see the bell ringers I feel a bit of nausea rise up in the depth of my soul.

Some of you have either left this post or become enraged with what I just said. Hold onto the anger whilst I explain. I am not against giving to charities and helping the poor and needy in the least. What upsets me is that the only time these agencies seem to try to make an overt effort to help is during the end of the year holidays. Some say that it is because this is when the population in general is more benevolent. Why is it that people can only be giving of their time and money during one time of year? The poor and needy are poor and needy 365 days a years not just for a couple of holidays.

I spent New Years Eve in Second Life. My friends decided to have a continual celebration helping all of the time zones ring in the New Year. We started with Australia and went till some where around 5 am EST (I know that was when I sent everyone home so I could go to bed). One of my friends began posting things around the bistro she owns about peace, including several statements by Yoko Ono. We talked about peace for quite a while and I brought up the John Lennon song. My eyes began to well with tears as I pondered the message of that song and read the Ono quotes. I finally asked those in the crowd, "why can't the leaders of the world see just how simple it would be to have peace?" Someone comment, "Because of greed." The means to have peace is so very simple, however, the excuse for not having peace is embarrassingly simple.

This morning I got up and turned the television on to prepare for the news (well, cartoons first and last with a little news in between). There was a program on and they were interviewing former Baltimore Oriole, Cal Ripken, Jr. He was talking about things he learned from his father, the late Cal Ripken, Sr. He made a comment about "sweat equity". This is kind of like "Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration". The two words struck me and I jotted them down and headed to the shower. Those who know me, know that my mind is always a whirl of words. Yes, I was still pondering this statement in the shower and recalling the comment made on New Years Eve about greed standing in the way of peace. Right away I knew where my thoughts were leading ~~ this post.

There are so many people around the world who have more money then they know what to do with. However, they only seem to be able to give to charities certain times a year and the way the media covers it the only reason they give is to make themselves look like caring human beings. As a whole, world-wide, we need to loosen the purse strings and loosen our hearts to others around us and put forth sweat equity to banish the greed that is standing in the way of living in peace with each other.


Kimala said...


"The means to have peace is so very simple, however, the excuse for not having peace is embarrassingly simple."

Super powerful words Parker. By far your most moving blog post yet. Incredible message that does need to be carried throughout the year.

Thank you.


bigd Flanagan said...

Your post articulated several key points. I think that the charities have come up with a strategy that has been successful in the past, so they stick with it.

People should be more conscious of those in need 24/7, 365. I think many people lead lives of desperation because their world view goes as far their computer monitor.

Bitching about this and that is so last generation. I'm becoming more concerned with hanging around people that look for solutions rather than excuses. Excuses, regrets and complete lack of activity are not an option anymore.

People tell me, are a teacher, you are trained.... Thats just silly, anyone can donate an hour or two a month. Hang with a kid, do something to help your community. Its all right there for you.

Crighton Johin said...

Parker, this post is simply incredible. The author Marianne Williamson has long lobbied for a Dept Of Peace, and Rep Dennis Kucinich has actually tried to gain traction in Congress to have a dept in our national government. Alas, it seems that peace is not as profitable as war, and it gets shot down with snide remarks.

Peace is not the absence of war, but something else entirely. I can be not fighting, but with an attitude of hate and greed. That is not peace, and that is the state our country is in right now.

Peace is something we add to our lives, not something that is there once we stop fighting. And it takes some work....sweat equity, huh? :-)