Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gay Liberation? I ain't against it, it's just
that there's nothing in it for me.

Bette Davis, actress; she died on this
day, age 81, in 1989

What I remember is “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”. Whoa! That was powerful, especially because I was quite young – 16 years old. Bette was a total BITCH! It made quite an impression on me. Happily, being a delightfully naïve wholesome Canadian, I didn’t transfer that to all women! Hey, well, it’s just part of my gift as Gay man; “we” don’t do that sort of thing because it isn’t in “our” genes!!

“There’s nothing in it for me”. There’s the Shakespearean rub. A problem of the whole human race, bottom line. Bette was, I am sure, being ironic about it. It’s especially a rub for “wealthy” societies anywhere in the World. Religion makes no difference. Well-off Americans and Saudis and Sudanese and Danes and Greenlanders and Thais, Christians or Buddhists or Muslims or Jews or Zoroastrians – once we get to a certain stage of privilege, we easily marginalize the needs of our fellow human beings. Jesus talked about it a LOT! As did the Jewish prophets. “Woe to you who put your finger on the scale and try to cheat the poor!”

Oh. We take meals to the poor and the homeless. We give them the shampoo and the Conditioner we snitch from the fancy hotels we go to and the clothes we don’t want anymore. But we really don’t work to change the systems that KEEP people poor! Mostly because that would radically change OUR lives – and we like how we live as the top 1% of the World’s population.

Every great Teacher, “Christ”, Bodhisattva, Saint, Enlightened One tells us in some fashion that if we want to be “rich” we must give everything away; if we want Life we must be willing to “lose” it. They point to the truth that if we live by the principle that “there’s nothing in it for me”, there won’t be!

The message? Many have said it better than I. Every human being is my sister or brother. The less they have, the less my Humanity – and my Happiness.

Ponder. Can we learn this lesson and live it? Look at the World now. We have not learned the Lesson.

We must.


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