&hearts EMPATHY &hearts
Baby doll left behind from evacuated crisis center. Art by Elaine Meinel Supkis
By Elaine Meinel Supkis
Empathy is painful. My mother used to haul us kids on rescue missions in third world countries which she did for personal, religious reasons. She went around, starting schools, dispensing food and medicine, giving hope and love to people who lived far away. She did this at home, too, helping Mexican laborers.
I took it all a step further, working to organize and support laborers. Giving people strength and power is what matters in the end. But first, you must have empathy for them. And the root of empathy is very simple: I am you and you are me. I know that some times, I need the caring love of total strangers. Jesus understood this. This is why he told us about the Good Samaratin, the alien in the Holy Land who paused to help a dying man.
For some reason, only part of humanity is emphatic. I think this is because of evolution, there are genetic as well as social causes for this. I know many people who praise Jesus and think they are Christians but who will cheerfully run over you if you are in their path! Once, when I was little, a Mexican laboror was run over by a car. No one stopped to tend to him or his family, except to gawk. Up swept my mother, she found a blanket and covered him and then comforted the widow and took the family under her generous wings.
Her church adopted the family at her behest.
No one else lifted a finger until she swept in and took charge. I learned this reflex from her and have done it myself many times. The rescuers and the people who held down the fort for the last week in the Gulf are all empaths. They could have cut and run, quit or do as little as possible. Instead, they pushed themselves as hard as possible. Nurses hand pumping the ventilators of the dying. Coast Guards people risking life and limb over and over again. Reporters going where authorities feared to tread. Ordinary people carrying, pushing, holding, tending the weaker, poorer, older, infants. But they were all overwhelmed by the mass of suffering.
I reread my hurricane section of the blog last night. It was sober reading. Starting with my warnings and discussion about the dire effects of the impending disaster. Right now, Bush and his minions in the media are busy bees rewriting history, trying hard to make two points: no one could have known this would happen and we tried our hardest.
Both are rank lies but because this is a racist country, they will get 1/2 of the nation to believe this tripe. The most recent poll clearly shows, half of America either paid no attention to events and can't put two and two together or the propaganda and lies fell in fertile soil and are now growing like kudzu. This nearly universally white part of America thinks the slaggard response and idiotic moves won't ever bite them in the ass. They imagine the response to disaster if they are hurt will be different.
It will not.
We are now entering new, historic times. This is what the Great Die Off will look like. It will test the wills and souls of the empaths. We will have to struggle through this time. How does one do this? By pretending to not see the bodies? When imperial England ruled India, they did this. They drove their carriages over the bodies and tut-tutted about the mess and wondered if they could just clean it up like they were trying to scrub Ireland of pesky people, reducing that poor land from 4 million souls to 1.5 million in a five year span! One reason why so many English speakers have colonized the earth was because the Crown wanted to get rid of them! Get them out of sight, out of mind. Let them fend for themselves elsewhere.
When Mahatma Gandhi went to school in England to become a lawyer, he saw what was wrong in the heart of the empire. He then cast off his privilages and began his long struggle for humanity that ended in assassination. He was an empath who couldn't pass by the beggar, the dead, without doing something. He is my shining star, just like Martin Luther King, whose sad, thoughful face gazes blindly at me from an old photo in my office.
&hearts "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate...Returning violence for violence multiplies the violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." &heartsI cannot even hope to live up to a tiny bit of those wise words, myself, without great internal struggle, for I, too, want to kill to get my way. As Tolkien had Galadriel say to Frodo, if she were to take the Ring of Power, she would fix everything and everyone would worship her and despair!
Half of the nation is satisfied with this slaggard, poorly coordinated, clueless response to a direct hit from Mother Nature who is now in full warfare mode with the entire human race. We think, the sun is shining, everything is fine now but Mother Nature knows nothing is fine at all. Everything is falling apart rapidly. Half of America wants to believe the lies Bush and his minions spew because they want to not heed the Hurricane warnings Mother Nature is giving us. They imagine this stupidity will protect them from utter destruction but She knows their blind trust is misplaced.
So does Bush and his fellow vultures. They are protected. They don't wander into the eye of danger heedlessly! They spend their lives in a bubble, avoiding contact with reality because they create their own reality whereever they go. And their reality is this: there are too many humans. They don't even view us as part of the same species! This is why, as the apes of this planet are being wiped out, they don't care. They view our cousins as research subjects, to be imprisoned and tortured to death! And annihilated in nature. They view us the same way. Right now, they don't have the tools to do anything overt. But then...
My dad is a huge empath. He was the first officer to enter Buchenwald as the bullets were still flying as the Nazis battled the Soviet forces and my father slipped into the area seeking rocket scientists and their paperwork. As the OSS officer in charge of the rocket discovery program, he went into shock at what he found. He, personally, helped take down the bodies of the dead Jewish workers strung up with barbed wire across the secret cave where the data was hidden. "Into the Valley of Death and utter darkness, I walked," he wrote about this day.
40 years later, I held him in my arms in a hotel room in NYC as he wept, remembering, after NOVA filmed an interview with him about this. Even years later, it hurt him so much! He is an empath.
All my life, I asked myself, how could Nazis even exist? Or the communist totalitarians? What ails them all? Realizing that a good portion of humanity survived the Great Die Off called "the Great Ice Ages" by becoming cannibals explains the genetic survivalist twin thread to empathy: the indifference to "outsiders."
This is why nearly half the nation heartily approved of Bush and the GOP dropping everything and bending common law and common sense to "save" an obviously brain dead white woman. And why, when we bloggers yelled about a little black child in Houston who was not brain dead but was being disconneted from his breathing tubes because his mother ran out of money...didn't make huge headlines, Bush and his cannibals said nothing and did nothing and they all ignored the mother's tears and cries of pain. She is lucky they didn't eat her for dinner.
Empaths in America have opened their hearts and wallets this week. But the cannibals are planning to push for huge tax cuts for the very wealthy so they can accumulate more wealth and feast on our bones. Far from educating us about our fiscal perils and calling for tax hikes to pay for the $100 billion+ it will take to fix this gigantic mess, they are cutting taxes further and further, digging our collective graves!
Right now, the whole world is releasing their oil reserves because America, the biggest wasters of oil on earth, have created a situtation whereby everyone is being pinched, financially, by raging oil price hikes. So this one natural event will empty out the collective storage of world oil supplies and this can't be "refilled" without causing huge price hikes to resume. This is because we are at the Hubbert Oil Peak already.
All governments fear unrest from this. Already, high prices in Nigeria is causing insurrections and riots. Just last month, in Equador, an oil exporting nation, there were riots and insurrections and the President had to flee to Brazil! This is just beginning. Mexico and Canada pour their precious oil into America who wastes it recklessly, and both nations are beggaring their futures doing this. When things get bad, they will be very depleted, themselves, with no hope for a future.
We should be planning for the downside of the Era of Oil only we are ignoring this just like Bush pretended to not notice the hurricane. You can bet, if it were heading his way, he would have paid attention! Anyway, if Americans think the response to this disaster is OK, then it is hard to be very empathic with them when Hurricane Mother Nature's Revenge starts really killing us all.
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