Friday, November 28, 2008

Ecce Homo

"Wal-Mart worker dies after shoppers knock him down". Every once in a while an event takes place which startles the shit out of me. Today's event is the stampede at a suburban New York Wal-Mart where rabid shoppers broke down the doors trying to enter the store to secure whatever Chinese-made treasures their vacuous hearts were yearning after. In the "event", a worker was trampled and died from his injuries. The victim was 34 years old - Black Fucking Friday, indeed.

Events like these hold up a mirror to us. If we are willing and brave, if we are able to distance ourselves from ourselves for a brief moment, if we look carefully into the mirror, we can acknowledge the verity of Walt Kelly's line from the old "Pogo" cartoon from a couple of generations back -- "we have met the enemy, and they is us." It's not just that other person who is part of the mob that rampages when their favorite team wins the championship, or who is so fearful of not getting that $388.00 flat screen at Wal-Mart, or who believes they are justified in their killing because their government, or their religious leader, or their thirst for vengeance says they are. It is all of us who are this strange admixture we call human. Capable of such wrong and harm -- and at the same time able to find within us the capacity to care for one another, treasure life, and even sacrifice our own lives for the sake of another.

In troubled economic times, the concern is which part of our nature will be acted upon most......the rampaging mob part of us seeking to act out of, and protect, our self-interest.............or the part of us that is rarely draw upon in such times, the good, the sacrificial, the "brother's keeper", the authentic humanity we were created to be.

The mirror tells us which one the advertisers and merchandisers would prefer ----

"They is us....Ecce Homo".

Happy Holidays

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