Blog 1775 – 08.03.2020
As advertised today’s David Reads Children’s Books selection is indeed an illustrated classic. One of the earliest and most detailed ship wreck adventures, it still has the power to stir imaginations young and old. Most of Robinson Crusoe’s years long ordeal of being ship wrecked truly was on a deserted island, but happily some of it he shared with his new friend that he named Friday.
There is some condensation in his account as there is yet in today’s world, those with more education at the levers of power looking down on those with less. I heard a chilling account recently of a millions large group of people in China being marginalized and kept as slave workers in concentration camps producing masks for the Covid-19 pandemic world wide. We in the West though condemning the Nazis for such practices and some decrying and others denying that our own ancestors were if not perpetrators at least willing coconspirators in the treatment of peoples we deemed “less than.”
That is the true root of most problem behaviors isn’t it – this wrong-headed and hearted idea that one group of people is mentally, educationally, politically, or morally superior to another? Religion, sadly, is a big source of these ideas leading some to conclude that perhaps man created god and not the other way around. I remember a history and sociology professor that I had in Bible College who loved the Hawaiian culture quoting more than once the old Hawaiian who said, “The missionaries said, ‘Look up, look up to Jesus.’ And when we did they took our wives, our children, and our lands.”
Invading cultures often write their histories showing themselves to be missionaries trying to save and to civilize the natives while more often they appear only to want only to conquer, to breed loyal slaves, or to just exterminate those who oppose their ideas of profit and progress. We westerners with our “work ethic” an idea mostly likely fostered and propagated by the moneyed class of landed and factory owners who have always profited most from agriculture, manufacturing and the service industry and are quick to label any other culture but Capitalism as communistic, pagan, deviant or just lacking in drive and determination.
Life is not as the puppet masters would have us believe, just about winning and making a profit. It is about family, and friends all pulling together to make this world a better, safer, and more enjoyable place not just for a privileged light skinned few, but for everyone.
For all his wrong headed assessment of Friday, I think Robinson Crusoe came to think of his trusted companion as a dear friend. That is often the result of getting to know our supposed enemies or those we have wrongly assumed our lessers. I tried to teach my son when he as many boys, myself included, thought he knew it all, that everyone we meet no matter their station in life knows something that we do not and we could learn much from them if we just discarded our prejudices and listened with a learner’s heart and ear.
Almost hidden in the silly tale of American Exceptionalism is the detail that the narrow minded English Puritans, French fur traders in North America and as well the Spanish and Portuguese Conquistadors in lower North America, Central, and South America would never have survived or thrived here in the New World without being taught how to by the native population whom they brushed aside and tried to wipe out or hide to our collective shame. That is perhaps where the saying comes from, “No good deed goes unpunished.” It is certainly, in North America, where the true meaning of the term, “Indian givers” comes from. We invading lighter skinned people not only misnamed a people Indians, who already had a proper name, The First People, but we made the the even more terrible and more audacious mistake of assuming ourselves better than and they therefore less than. It was not then, is it now, nor will it ever be true, for we are all of one blood, one heart, and one mind with none ever the less.
Yes, Black Lives Matter, and instead of taking offense at that saying, the long in power and privileged need to hear the underlying intent of the protest. It is that “all lives matter” not just the few who think it their manifest destiny to rule and reign over all the rest, taking unto themselves always the choicest cuts, the best, and the biggest slice of the pie. No man nor divinity worth believing in could have ever designed a heaven for just a few and a virtual hell for all the rest. That tale was concocted by a very selfish man or a few who wanted themselves to be kings and everyone else slaves and servants.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
I Wonder What The King Is Doing Tonight