Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Forget Libya and Japan

You may think I’m a hard-hearted person 90-seconds from now when you finish reading this, but here goes:

This past weekend I bought a magazine at Barnes and Nobles. When the cashier was checking me out she said, out of the blue, “Those poor people in Japan. What can we do?”

I didn’t really answer. I think I mumbled something like, “Yeah, whata ya gonna do?” and handed her my money. She was still shaking her head about the plight of the Japanese as I walked off.

What I wanted to say was, “Well, lady, to be honest, you can’t do a damn thing. You can say a prayer for’em and send some money to the Red Cross, but that’s about it.”

If I could have a direct hand in doing something for the freedom fighters in Libya or the people in Japan I might do it. Although, I do think it’s kind of funny that the official line from the government in Japan has been, “We can take care of ourselves, so butt out.” Which, in a way, is what Moammar Ghadafi is saying, but that’s another story.

Back to my point. Within a few miles of where almost anyone in America lives is someone who needs help at least as much as the folks in Libya, Japan, South Africa, or any of a dozen other places on Earth.

If you want to do some good fill up a box with groceries and clothes and take it to a local church or shelter. Or, just be nicer to your neighbors. Or, vote.

I understand the philosophical point that we’re all people and that hardships on the other side of the world injure all mankind.

But, as the late Gonzo journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson once said about John Lennon, “When amateurs like him get involved it just slows down the professionals.”

I’m sorry for the folks I see in the media’s hardtimes story-du-jour. But, neither you nor I can do a damn thing to help them other than pray. We CAN do something to help America and if we do THAT we, as a nation, will be better able to help others.

Whata ya gonna do?

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