Friday, August 10, 2018

Alerting for funds

It seems that a new industry is emerging.  No matter what the headlines says, workers in this field can send out messages explaining recent events are promising and need support from people like me.  They are also skilled at explaining that recent events are frightening and need opposition from people like me. It turns out that support and opposition both call for the same action: send money!  Lots of money! Ok, every little bit helps so how about a little money?

Several decades ago, I was intrigued by Amnesty International.  The organization was founded in Britain when some Britons witnessed an arrest in Portugal.  The arrest was prompted by a drinking song by locals that criticized the government. The Britons decided to write letters to the government of Portugal expressing concern for those arrested.  Letters of concern elevated local and bureaucratic attention and those arrested were not left to rot in some forgotten cell. The idea of the organization was that attention and interest in political prisoners would increase the prisoners' treatment and well-being. The use of effort and human concern appealed to me and still does.  

Over time, communications from that organization have turned me off.  I realize money is valuable and powerful. I wouldn't be surprised if professional work in support of the well-being of political prisoners can be shown to be more effective than my letters to the administrator of jails. Still, I get very tired of a picture of my country, my life, my society as simply bank accounts.  I want there to be more to life than money.

Money doesn't smile at me or by itself, make me feel that this is a beautiful world.  When I get something in the US post calling for money, it is drowned out by all the other calls for money.  Earthquakes, polluted air, dead fish, traffic accidents, high humidity - no matter what the problem is, the explanation involves sending contributions of money.  I don't like it and I don't accept it.

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