Sunday, June 17, 2007

Living well ~ Living Forever

Many years ago when I was about ready to leave the comfort and security of the home that I grew up in I knew there was no going back. Mom and dad were good, honest people who were also of the old fashioned opinion that “once you go out that door you don’t return”. This didn’t mean that they were hard or cruel it simply meant that they were raised in an era wherein self-sufficiency was more than just desirable it was the measure upon which one gauged the ability to survive. It made them stronger, more frugal, and more determined to make it on the harsh terms they were dealt than I was on the easy terms I was facing at the time of my passage from boyhood to manhood. By the time I was ready to go it alone things had changed sufficiently enough under the new deal premise that a youngster who was not particularly good at holding down home and finance could cheat by on the good will of society, unemployment checks and even welfare. Fortunately for me I was a born workaholic and jobs were plentiful at the time.

Well sir many years have gone by since that time and the entire deal, such as we knew it is pretty much gone and maybe that’s not such a bad thing in and of itself however the problem facing today’s young people who are thinking about leaving the nest and doing it on their own are far greater than the ones I faced. When a job in a welding shop paid $3.75 an hour I was able to rent a two bedroom apartment for $75.00 a month and fill up my 8 cylinder Pontiac Jalopy with Gas at 35 cents a gallon. We now have the inflated dollar, the impossible cost of housing, the marked lack of living wage jobs, and the real possibility of going hungry. Things are drifting back to the way they were before Roosevelt instituted the new deal mentality and it seems we are once again swimming in an unforgiving sea of survival constantly dodging the sharks that frequent those waters. While I agree in principal with those who feel that we have never been better off I disagree at the same time with the notion that the 90’s were better than the 60’s because it just isn’t true. Simply stated it’s harder to get by now than it was then unless you belong the apparently thriving predator class.

Yes, it’s true that the average lifespan has grown in the wealthier nations, but what good are the golden years if they are spent languishing in the poverty that we see many doing today? Is life at any cost worth the effort? I have heard tell that a group of bio-scientists have founded a new branch of science using nano-technology that promises to be able to sustain the human body indefinitely using tiny manufactured robots to clean up the body’s systemic functions and help regenerate old tissue. That certainly is a wonderful thing if it’s true. The only problem with that of course is the fact that we have limited space here on this planet and a population that suddenly ceases to turn over its living organisms will face a serious lack of elbow room in a very short time. Maybe we will colonize other planets???? Hmmmm..... It all seems so far away and so dream like, but you never know.

Everyone deserves to live ( not dealing with Judiciary here just intrinsic human rights ) and everyone deserves to live well. The facts however are that only a small portion of the human race actually does live well and even that portion will find itself in the very near future struggling to hang on to what it has grown accustomed to if not learning how to make unwilling concessions to a growing and demanding population of needy people.

It is a strange moral landscape for the family of man when we find ourselves having to seek out a balance between humanitarianism and personal survival. Everything that’s good and pure and wholesome tells us that these two elements should coincide with each other; Reality on the other hand tells us rather loudly and rudely that they don’t.