Its not even a YAAN today and I’m not sitting quietly on the eBENCH. I am in a right mood, so I am. It is near the end of March. As Pratchett says
“I thought it would be different.”
Perhaps I am as mad as a March Hare. I had best look in OPEN LIBRARY and freshen up my knowledge of March Hares. Whatever it is, March has been an oddly disturbing month for me.
Today, I re-entered the world in which I am deeply disturbed by the callousness of society towards the weaker, the frailer, the sicker – the less able to cope. I was listening to my people today. The addicts and the poor and the single parents. They weren’t even whingeing. They weren’t even complaining let alone protesting. They were still accepting the blame. But as for me, the anger rises and the tears of grief and shame fall.
For the man who uses the last of his petrol to drive to a charity to ask for a food voucher, only to find out that they are only open on Wednesdays.
For the thing we have here which is called volunteerism. VOLUNTEERISM. Compulsory unpaid work for 15 hours per week to get benefits of maybe $200 per week. It can be asked of you at 65 years of age if called for. It can be asked of you with small children at home.
And I weep for the young mother trying to get into a rehabilitation centre : $500 per week. A waiting period. Then I went along to get a script filled for a fungal skin infection. I am on a pension, said I. Out here pensioners get prescription medicine at a reduced rate – but not the fungal foam. $24. Just now, I live with izzy and we have enough to get by but for many years, I didn’t have enough to get by and I begged borrowed and stole to take care of me and mine. Filled with shame. Now I watch my people, the street addicts and alkies, struggling to get well against the same sort of odds and Old Rage returns. Old hurts resurface. $250 per week for a caravan. Shameful stuff. I heard this week of a man trying to get a food voucher. He was sent from one place to another to another – using up the last money he had in catching buses back and forwards. I heard of a woman with children in desperate straits not being given assistance because she didn’t have a Centrelink form.
I remember. I don’t forget. I know what its like to be given a food voucher on bright green paper with a list of the things I was not permitted to choose – like ham or pet food or birthday cake ingredients for my son’s cake. I do not believe I will ever forget. I do not wish to forget.
Compassion is soluble in the urine of personal and corporate greed.
Anyways, its stirred me up.
Believe me: there is a class of us down here underneath :
And some of us are FED UP.
WHERE IS THE SIN IN BEING MEEK ? BEATEN ? OPPRESSED?
I am so mad tonight that I could kick holes in the walls.
The phrase “entertaining angels” refers to the practice of treating all guests–be they kings or peasants–as if they were visiting angels.
“There is a well-worn road which is pleasing to the senses and gratifies worldly desires, but leads to nowhere. And there is the less traveled path, which requires purifications and relinquishments, but results in untold spiritual blessings.”
Peace Pilgrim: Her Live and Works In Her Own Words – Pg. 129
Certainly the trouble is not that we do not want peace. We have seen enough war, we are sick of it, unto death. The war has come home like a stalking corpse, tailing its blood, its tears, its losses, its despairs — seeking like an American ghost the soul of America. We want the peace; but most of us do not want to pay the price of peace. We still dream of a peace that has no cost attached. We want peace, but we live content with poverty and injustice and racism, with the murder of prisoners and students, the despair of the poor to whom justice is endlessly denied. We long for peace, but we wish also to keep undisturbed a social fabric of privilege and power that controls the economic misery of two thirds of the world’s people.
5:1 Seeing the multitudes, he went up onto the mountain. When he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
5:2 He opened his mouth and taught them, saying,
5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
5:5 Blessed are the gentle, For they shall inherit the earth.
5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, For they shall be filled.
5:7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called children of God.
5:10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
5:11 “Blessed are you when people reproach you, persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake.