The book club I attend recently read “Ishmael,” about a — OK, this sounds nuts — gorilla who communicates with a man about the future of the world. Full disclosure: I didn’t read the whole thing. My loan at the library was up, and I neglected to renew it. So the e-book went back to the cloud.
But the part I did read was thought-provoking. The author basically states that we have to let people die in order to save the planet. Yes, that’s right. We’re so good at curing illness and so benevolent about sending aid to starving people. But that just means that we’ll have more people on the planet using the resources.
If those people survive, then they’ll procreate and make more people who have to vie for the planet’s resources. If they die, we’re off the hook for providing aid. It’s nature’s way of saying, “enough.”
Will any politician ever say, “No, we’re not going to send aid to those starving people in _____.” Doubtful. It sounds callous, and we’re too nice to say no.
And that brings me to my discovery today. I found three small black plastic bags filled with single-serving foods out at the park. I don’t know if they were handed out by the nearby school to children or handed out to the homeless for Easter. I’m going to guess the former, because inside the bags were tins of milk, packages of cereal, and juice boxes, among other goodies.
Here’s my question: Why didn’t those bags make it home?
One theory: the kids really didn’t need it. They’re just low-income, but finding food isn’t an issue. Another theory: the kids didn’t dare take it home. Mom or Dad don’t want to be seen as taking charity. Another theory: the kids were careless and forgot about the bags after a quick pick-up game of soccer. Another theory: the kids have no concept of having something for later. They’re given what they need when they need it. Or they didn’t want to have to share it, or they didn’t want to hide it from the rest of the family.
I’ve heard of children squirreling away food in cases of neglect or abuse. They want to have their own stash in case circumstances change and they’re hungry. That’s heart-breaking, but I’m sure it happens. Obviously these children didn’t feel that way.
In any case, I left the bags on the picnic table at the park. Perhaps the kids will come back and help themselves to whatever’s left. Or maybe the homeless will have a seat and a snack. Happy Easter.