Friday, September 21, 2012

Buying and Selling Each Other

Last post I used exercise as a metaphor for compassion: that it's easier to do in groups, that it's a habit built over time, and that it's often not very pleasant. Today let's look at that downside. What is the metaphorical equivalent of the person who is deeply unfit?

What causes dramatic, debilitating un-health?

Well, for the billion people worldwide who live in poverty, poverty is the cause. Poverty leads to hazardous jobs, malnourishment, limited access to hygiene and medicine. In the US we are lucky that malnourishment means processed, unbalanced foods, and hazardous jobs means back-breaking labor or mind-bending tedium at sleeping hours.

Another cause is ignorance. Diabetes and obesity plague the US, and they are due to the fact that many of us simply do not know how food interacts with the body.

A third, lucky cause is lack of motivation. Who do you know who started jogging after the first heart attack? How many of us did crunches and pushups on January 2?

This metaphor sucks:  
How does that relate to Compassion? 
It's cheaper, simpler, and easier to treat people like objects than to treat people like people. Treating people like people is like working hard all day, coming home exhausted, and making healthful food for yourself anyway. We should do it, but how quickly do we fall off the horse and buy a $2 bag of grease and carbs and chemicals on the way home? 

So when your network (church) feels like a McDonald's, it's time for a New Year's Resolution to move to a farm.   

Next week let's look at the ways we secretly, mistakenly, accidentally buy and sell each other.  

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