I have this recipe that’s called “ground up neighbor”. It’s a sinfully delicious combination of breakfast sausage, Velveeta cheese, salsa and cream of mushroom soup. One bite has enough calories to last me for the entire day, and yet I’m capable of eating a whole bowlful. What originally intrigued me about the recipe was the name. “Ground up neighbor”. Admit it-we’ve all had a neighbor that we were…less than fond of. One we would like to substitute for the sausage in the recipe.
It occurred to me a while ago that we HAVE ground up our neighbors. I’ve been watching the economy mess for some time. The whole budget fiasco made me nauseous. If our kids were fighting like that, we would have clobbered them and sent them to their rooms. Our elected officials, all the way up to the leader of the free world, sit there day after day and fight like little kids who missed their naps, and are miserable and cranky because of it. Aside from thinking that our entire government needs a good spanking, I started to think about the implications of what is happening. Our Social Security is disappearing. I really didn’t expect to have it anyway by the time I reach retirement age. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Food prices are too high-people can’t afford to eat well. (Interestingly enough, junk food is still reasonably affordable. It’s the healthy stuff like fruits and vegetables that are ridiculous.) All of this meandering around in my head kept leading me back to the same thought…”The government has proven that they are not willing/capable of doing what we ‘need’ them to do…so when do we start doing it ourselves”? When do we stop grinding up our neighbor and start caring for him?
I live in a country where people don’t really care for each other. Our houses all have really high walls around them, and the concept of being “neighborly” isn’t there. We are neighborly with the people on the other side of our duplex, but it’s because last year good friends of ours rented it. Before that, we really didn’t know our neighbors. No one trusts anyone here. People take care of their families first, and then maybe there is a little circle of friends that might be considered important enough to take care of if something happened. Mostly, everyone just looks out for themselves, and for their family. I wish I could say that this is only the poor people, who are just trying to survive, and don’t have the time, energy or resources to care about anyone else. It’s not. There is an emerging middle class here, and a very wealthy “upper crust”, who are just in it for themselves. When we moved here, it was a little unnerving. I remember thinking “They didn’t ask me to come, and they don’t care if I stay”. I was used to having family around, and I had a circle of friends. I didn’t understand. Now…for the point of my rambling. The US has become exactly like this.
We are a people who expect the “government” to take care of everyone. 200 years ago, you helped your neighbor. If you had two loaves of bread and he was hungry, you gave him one. No one had a lot, but people took care of each other. The concept of the government taking care of you was unheard of. You just did what had to be done. Now, we are so busy trying to keep up that we don’t even notice if our neighbor is hurting. At what point did we stop caring? I’ve studied history-I know all about the post-war booms, etc. I don’t think that was it. I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. We had neighbors, and my parents knew them. We kids played together.
We need to stop grinding up our neighbors. The government isn’t going to change. We need to. It’s time to start working together to improve things. The news says that one of the problems with our economic situation is that we “aren’t spending enough”. Sooo…we aren’t spending money on things we don’t need…and that’s a problem. We are in an “overcorrection” period in the stock market. I’ve been overcorrected a few times. It hurts. The difference between me and Wall Street is that I learned my lesson and quit spending money like it was a bodily function. It’s time to start taking care of each other. Things will get better-they always do. What if we changed our outlook on life, so that when things get “better”…we don’t change anything? We still love our neighbors, take care of business, and ignore what happens in Washington?
I know-this is supposed to be a ministry update. I have one ready to go-I’ll post it this week. It’s been a GREAT summer. We’ve taken care of our neighbors. Two families are living in their own houses because of a lot of people who sacrificed greatly to come and make sure it happened. Lives have been changed…on BOTH sides of the equator.
Feel free to comment on this. I would love to know if I’m the only one feeling like we’re grinding up our neighbors. And by the way. Neighbors aren’t just the people in our neighborhoods. Although that would be a great start.