• Tara Sufiana

Where Is The Compassion?


I find it disturbing to live in a country that wages war all over the planet -- creating suffering for untold millions of people, and numerous other forms of life, destroying cities, wreaking havoc upon nature and the environment. What at one time might have been heavy boots trampling across foreign lands, now it is heavy tanks, armaments of all kinds, aircraft, -- including drones. Even the uniforms our soldiers (“troops"?) wear, appear to be at least as heavy as the armor of ancient times, when men carried swords and spears and shields. Now the troops do not have to carry so much heavy metal. The heavy metal carries them. They do not always even need to go along for the ride. They can push buttons sitting in a comfortable room, halfway around the world from where the drones strike. In earlier warfare, the warriors had to face their foe, or at least see whom they were killing.Here, in the U.S., people are sending donations for victims of the earthquake in Nepal – a natural disaster, without political implications. This is a safe outlet for empathy – a socially acknowledged act of compassion. My heart also goes out to the people of Nepal and am grateful for any help to relieve their suffering.Where is the compassion for the suffering inflicted by the cruelty of humankind? Where are the donations to Palestinians, who have been suffering for 67 years at the hands of Israelis, with backing by the U.S? How about the extended suffering of Iraqis, Syrians, Afghanis, Libyans, Yemenis, and on and on around the globe, wherever profiteers get a boot-hold, launching unjust wars with no regard for human cost, nor for the destruction of civilizations, or the environment.While proliferators of armaments profit from these conflicts, these wars are paid for with the taxes of U.S. citizens. The lion’s share of our national spending goes to the military-industrial complex. We, the citizens, suffer from lack of funding for infrastructure here at home. Our roads, even here, in northern California, are in a terrible state of disrepair (surprisingly, even extensive parts of the 101 Freeway). Funding for education, a sufficient medical system, (medical care for those without high-priced insurance is being cut back), the arts, and so many aspects of life for Americans, are under-funded. Poverty rises, as families struggle to survive on low wages, or no jobs. Yes, there is suffering right here in the so-called, “land of the free”. I guess, these days, that means “free enterprise”, for those wealthy enough to exploit others less fortunate.We can see the effects that this unjust system has upon our society. People are becoming louder, perhaps because they feel impotent – unable to improve their lives, even as they struggle and work harder. Even the children are screaming. Perhaps they are screaming for parental guidance. As well as the children, this country needs parental supervision – based on wisdom. ‘Smart’ people have brought us to the brink of self-destruction. ‘Wisdom’ transcends knowledge. Knowledge often changes with time. Wisdom is infinite.The perpetration of destructive actions, such as wars, occupations, torture, use of weapons, including drones, must be prohibited. We do not need ‘more’ of anything, although some things such as wealth need re-distributing. We need to take care of what we already have. We have lost our way by focusing on ‘quantity’ rather than ‘quality’. I do not think that greed is a natural attribute of a human being. I think it is a disease, which, unfortunately seems to be contagious. Let us weed greed out of our collective consciousness and replace it with the flower of Compassion. Universal love can light up our hearts with a blaze as bright as any Sun.

Tara Sufiana.

Find connections to work toward a more just and peaceful world: www.codepink.org.

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© 2020 Tara Sufiana

Ukiah, California

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