I was sitting in my favorite chair this morning, watching the birds in the courtyard, and I got to pondering the inequities of distribution. Why are some birds beautiful and others drab? Why do some bushes offer lovely little flowers with succulent nectar to feed them, and others just prickly, downright ugly branches covered in needles? What is it that accounts for the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly?
Diversity is fine. Great, in fact, up to a point. But then it runs amok. When it gets beyond matters of choice, I get twitchy. I happen to like Leon Redbone, k.d. lang, Adele, and Beethoven, and so on. And apparently there are some people who actually like Justin Beiber. Well, that’s all well and good (except Justin Beiber)–it’s just a matter of choice, or taste (or lack thereof). But what about ignorance, or greed, or evil? How are those things distributed? Indeed, why are they dispersed throughout the world? I know some of you will have answers that invoke The Devil, or God’s Plan. Those make no sense to me. They aren’t answers, they’re simply beliefs.
I know, it all has to do with with food and habitat, survival and diversity–I studied quite a lot of biology at university, but when I shifted my pondering to the human state, it wasn’t so easy to come up with the biological explanations.
There are many things for which we have no answers. Like millipedes. I’m okay with that, sort of. I know we’ll never know (at least in our lifetime) the answers to some things: How It All Began, What Happens When We Die, or Why Would Anyone Want to Watch Justin Beiber? But there are other questions–mainly about Distribution–that I’m not content to ignore. Things that we, as humans, should have some control over.
So we can’t control (or even know) How It All Began, or What Happens When We Die, but we should be able to manage those things that occur in between. It seems the majority of the problems come down to Distribution. For the moment at least, there is enough of most things to go around. We just haven’t managed to learn how to share properly. World issues of Starvation, Disease, Water (shortage or pollution) largely come down to our failure to distribute what we have, and what others need.
I don’t know the answers. I just know there must be ways to correct the failures, ways to better distribute education, food, clean water, and medicine. Overcoming the forces of Ignorance, Greed, and Evil will take a bit longer…
I still don’t understand why some birds–and people–get to be beautiful while others have to be drab. Why some are strong and quick and others are weak. Some can make beautiful music; others wind up being me and Justin Beiber.
I do believe it is within our control to change that, insofar as it applies to humankind. Not to make everyone the same, but to value people differently. Not just by how many millihelens* they possess, but by their humanity. Pie in the sky…maybe, but we all have to dream and to strive.
Life is beautiful; Distribution sucks. MM
*A millihelen is a standard unit of beauty, equal to 1/1000th of the beauty of Helen of Troy, who was the “face that launched a thousand ships.” Thus, one millihelen is the amount of beauty it would take to launch one ship.