Contrasts in everyday life continue to amaze.
When the news of mass migration of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children escaping war in the Middle East makes me weep, along comes Walmart announcing their earlier-than-usual holiday sale of Christmas toys and a swell layaway plan to make sure your kids get the latest Star Wars saber and plastic Yoda. Futility and Frivolity.
The stock market suffers six straight days of loses, wiping trillions from the balance sheets; the next week, following two days of the biggest gains on record, the market recovers and the losses are history. People who sold in panic at the beginning of the week are licking their wounds while those who saw the drop as an opportunity to buy gloat. Panic and Patience.
Record low temperatures and massive snowfalls this winter will no doubt help us forget the hottest month on record worldwide (this past July) as we witness climate change and extreme weather. While drought and wildfires are great concerns in the West, flooding and rainfalls create havoc in Florida as two hurricanes bear down on the East coast. Collapse and Creation.
Our teachers have predicted the great polarization of society in this decade and the evidence is emerging. Mindless buffoonery on the political landscapes as a response to society’s ills balance the deep mistrust of the status quo and heirs apparent in the mainstream. Corporations acting as individuals bundle fortunes they pass to lobbyists who craftily spin the news into a dizzying denial of facts. Thirty minutes of the evening news is actually 16 minutes of advertisements for drugs you’re urged to insist your doctor prescribe.
Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day and 50,000 are homeless on any given night. One out of every 20 individuals living in New York City is living with a serious mental illness and half of them have never sought treatment. 35% of Americans are obese (that’s 78.6 million people) and as many as 30 million people have diabetes.
Americans spend $50Billion annually on their pets and $120Billion on fast food — and how about this: $11 TRILLION on shopping! That does not include $1Billion on teeth whiteners, $35 Billion on gambling, $17 Billion on video games or $40Billion on lawn care. Meanwhile, each citizen living in Malawi, Burundi, Central African Republic, Niger and Liberia will earn less than $1 each day this year. Most of them won’t live past 50. The “Haves” and the “Have-Nots.”
You might think life expectancy is high in the US but in reality we are 34th on the list – virtually every country in Europe is ahead.
What contrasts do you find most astounding? Aren’t the extremes amazing??!!