It rained today and I’m not working, so I got to read the paper, and check out blogs and tweets. Depressing.
It’s obvious that people are not being treated well all over the world. There is lots of blame going around, and it’s true, everyone’s at fault.
There is a big trial coming to a close in Boston in which the head of the state’s Probation Department is being accused of and giving out jobs as political favors. It seems that a lot of people got jobs or promotions in his department, because of who advocated for them, not because they were the most qualified.
The defense was kind of “So, doesn’t everybody?”
And that’s a valid defense. The people in the state legislature, and even some judges who “recommended” people for jobs never gave it a second thought. They were doing favors for their friends and constituents. Isn't that what they are there for?
That’s how we got the great financial mess of five years ago: people did what they were told to do, sell mortgages to anyone who wanted them. Everyone was doing it.
A certain group of people traded very risky derivatives, pretty much without realizing how much risk was involved, mostly because almost everyone in their circle of colleagues was doing the same thing, and everyone was making a lot of money doing it. It seemed like a pretty attractive idea.
Why are the people of Gaza shooting rockets into Israel? Because many of them feel that Israel wants to drive them into the sea, and if you don’t feel that way you run the chance that your neighbors will shoot you. Of course, the Israelis feel the same way about Hamas. And this has been going on for seventy years.
Why does a big brother smack his little brother. Partly because he is bigger and he realizes this, and often because his father, who is even bigger, smacks him.
What I am saying is what I learned from doing therapy for forty years, and what I learned from reading about Family Therapy. Rarely is it one mean, crazy, evil individual who is the problem. Almost always it is a system that either lazy and sloppy and then corrupted, or else the system becomes too efficient, too powerful and loses perspective.
As individuals, we are all part of many systems, some we aren’t even aware of, like our families. We just go with the flow and think as we have been raised to think—which to all of us, is the “right” way. At work we think the way the company does, because that’s what we are paid to do. Nationally, we all try to think about what is best for our country. What we think is best, seems to depend a lot on where in the country we are, what our neighbors think, and what we read.
Example: Child immigration:
#1 – Vassar, MI --Why should we, as a community, take care of kids from Guatemala, whose parents sent them to the U.S. under false information? If we put them in our schools it will be expensive. They don’t know our language, they have different customs, they have lots of problems and few skills, and it will change the nature of our community, which we have come to love.
That certainly seems like a reasonable concern.
#2. -- Chelsea, MA-- Poor innocent kids are fleeing from terrible dangerous conditions. If their own parents feel that it is probably better for them to get away and try to make it in America, how can we turn them away and send them back to a very dangerous place – especially when we have caused a lot of those problems by buying all those drugs, and exploiting many Central American countries.
That is not unreasonable either.
I have my own answer, but I really don’t know if it is the best answer. But I do believe that by just staying around the folks we know, the ones who think the way we do, and then blaming and castigating those who think differently, that nothing will get resolved, and things will get worse. That’s been history, from Helen of Troy to the Islamic State of Iraq.
It is very, very difficult to go against the tide, especially when everyone near you is being swept along so it appears as if nothing is moving, when in fact we are all about to go over the falls, again.