lip service compassion


I must be desperate to be entertained…or confused…or infuriated.

I listened to talk radio again yesterday on the route.

Maybe I just needed something to take my mind off the cold, I don’t really know….but for the 5 hours I was on the road, I listened to people talk about the same kind of stuff they were talking about 10 years ago.

Different faces…same situations.

One of the things they were talking about was the extension of jobless benefits.

After a fairly long period of aid…and I guess an extension or two already…some folk’s benefits are getting ready to expire.

So the politicians are fighting to get some money where it’s “desperately needed”.

I listened to a Senator from Nevada talk about how it’s only right that we help these people who’ve been out of work for so long…we need to support them in their efforts to stay afloat during hard times.

I couldn’t help but think that there is a big divide between compassion that grows out of a shared experience…and “compassion” that comes from a need to position yourself so that you might get some votes on down the line.

I picture these politicians somewhere…enjoying their club sandwiches at the “club”…getting around to talking about the subject of the poor…and deciding that, yes, we need to help these people…and then moving on to the next topic or the next bite of their sandwich.

These guys don’t have a dime in it…except for the desire to get re-elected, they wouldn’t give a flip what happens to these strangers who aren’t enjoying a club sandwich with them.

It’s hard enough to give a flip about the guys they’re having lunch with.

I may be way off base supposing that I know anything about the motivations that these career criminals politicians have.  I don’t know their hearts…I don’t know how deep their sense of caring goes.

I don’t know these men.

So to pass any judgement might be unfair.

Maybe if they went into office with the understanding that they wouldn’t benefit financially or personally, that they’d be toiling in relative obscurity emptying bedpans or wiping down shopping cart handles, that they’d be servants without extreme compensation…given 90’s era Toyotas to drive as their government vehicles….that they’d be angels of mercy to the poor and that they could really make a difference if they just accepted the call to serve… maybe if I knew that was the deal they’d brokered…maybe I’d feel more confident that their compassion ran deep.

Maybe if political office was like jury duty…like they were conscripted to serve…given 14 dollars a day to do it…but it was a long-term commitment, like 4 or 8 or 32 years…maybe then I’d feel like these guys were really open to having a servants heart.

I’m one to talk, though….I live in a little glass cabin in the woods…I shouldn’t throw a bunch of rocks at these guys just because I thought it was weird that they were working so hard at getting the benefits fired up again.

99 weeks is a long time already, right?

What’s the Asian phrase?  “Kitanaikikenkitsui” ….that’s it.  I had it on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn’t quite remember the middle word. ( I’m kidding…I googled it…I couldn’t remember something like that.)

That’s a phrase that means something like “dirty, dangerous, and demanding”….talking about jobs that people might be hesitant to do because they are hard.

Maybe all the “bad” jobs have dried up, too?  I know there were a bunch of bad jobs out there before I started working with the USPS…I had a few, so I know.

Maybe there aren’t any jobs out there? I have a job right now…I haven’t had to look for a job for a while…so I really don’t know what other people’s experience is lately.

When someone with a government jet and a big expense account debates how to dole out charity with the money we give them…or, maybe more realistically, that they take from us…it kind of bugs me.

What else is new? Stuff bugs me sometimes.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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