Location: Southeastern, United States

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

More on the same topic.

Thoughts out of nowhere today:

How wierd is it that we don't have the wherewithal to adapt to seasonal fluctuations in temperature (with screening, fans, mid-day inactivity, hammocks, big trees) and have to rely on air conditioning, when somewhere in the world there is someone who can't afford to buy a mosquito net to put their kids under in a malaria zone? Not, we should feel guilty, not we must fix this now, just, isn't that strange? The world is so huge beyond our doorstep.

I had a similar thought about food sometime today, though it's escaped. I know that hunger is an issue twenty miles from my house, but to my well-fed brain, the idea that someone somewhere just doesn't eat is boggling. It's not even a feeling of guilt or do-something; it's just this incredibly vertigenous moment of No, really?.

I'm not trying to be uncompassionate. It's just that I feel like learning to hold both ideas in my head at once without responding immediately with guilt is important. I don't know why, but I prefer to have the general concept down instead of proceeding from an ideological response, especially when a conceptual grasp of the reality comes far later than all the ideological responses have.


ETA: Lonely Planet says that, when visiting Honduras, one should not walk through a certain section of Comyagua in Tegucigalpa in the dark by oneself. The US embassey says that one should never be in Comyagua at any time of day with any group of people and in fact one should probably look into bodyguards when in Tegus. Obviously, one approach makes life easier, but is harder to wrap a paranoid suburban brain around.


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