Tuesday, January 11, 2011

sometimes it's just hard, that's all

There are days when the juxtaposition of rich and poor, with shrinking numbers of folks in the middle, is just too much for me to bear.

When, in one week, I read of three new high-end bikes being produced in Portland and the cheapest one retails for $5,000, and the majority of responders to the online articles wonder what the problem is; and in this same week I ride past someone sleeping in a doorway with his shitty Magna mountain bike chained to the gas meter a few feet away (and I stop and leave my half-eaten sandwich for him because maybe he hasn't eaten in awhile and when he wakes up he might be hungry -- but really, how much good will a half a peanut butter sandwich be if he's still hungry for a few days after?); and then tonight I note the odd sense of semi-relief that comes when I deposit my check at the bank (because I can pay my bills this month), it sometimes becomes way too much.

I cannot simply shrug and say that there will always be poor people among us, like so many do.
That is unacceptable to me, as unacceptable as the wars our government fights. Poverty and war are flip sides of the same coin: They exist because, on some level, someone could not get rich without someone else ending poor or dead. War and poverty have reduced human relations on this planet to some sick quid-pro-quo equation that I cannot just rationalize away in order to forget about it. I am never successful at forgetting for very long, and during weeks like this one, remembering can sometimes be my undoing.

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