by Mickey Z.
Foreign Policy Journal
January 19, 2009
“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Matthew 16:26
I wasn’t supposed to be born. After my mother gave birth to my sister, the doctors told her she’d never have another child. They couldn’t say exactly why (later, she was diagnosed with endometriosis) but they were pretty damn certain…the way doctors tend to be pretty damn certain. Wisely, my mother ignored such white coat condescension and less than two years later, yours truly arrived on the scene. Mom called me her “miracle baby” and I think this played a role in the amazingly close relationship we always had.
Again, so incredibly basic but within that simplicity lies the secret: If we were to look upon all living things as part—along with ourselves—of one collective soul, it becomes impossible to live in denial about war, global poverty and disease, oppression, the destruction of our eco-system, etc. It becomes unbearable to visualize animals in a slaughterhouse, a laboratory, a circus, or a zoo. For anyone dwelling anywhere near the realm of reality, it is downright excruciating to contemplate 80% of the world’s forest and 90% of the large fish in the ocean being gone. If we are indeed “all part of one big soul,” as Tom Joad wonders, how can we not weep uncontrollably when—on this planet of abundant resources—a human being starves to death every two seconds?
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