It is not strange that movement and other signs of life can be present in a lifeless entity. A worm in its cocoon may appear dead, but it is alive and on the brink of a stupendous change. There will be no credit to Europeans and all the rapist nations for putting the cookie back into the jar. Capitalism is king, and dead. You’d have to be blind and deaf to not acknowledge the fact. Its proponents will confess it, and its victims, the vast majority of human beings, are still skeptical of the moral standards coming out of gilded shrines, ancient ruins, and hallowed locations. The strongest examples of philanthropy are all landmark redemption, and they come at an exorbitant price. Take that man Boaz, marrying outside his clan ( Ruth a Moabite), or that an outsider woman challenging Yeshua for a miracle, and king Saul’s son Jonathan befriending public enemy #1, David Ben-Jesse. The vital signs of misanthropy appeared to be dimming within humanity’s first thousand years, and now we have a steady stream of patriotic slogans, expressions of political and religious commitments, all on a mission of impersonating genuine love of all persons.
“See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.”1 Thessalonians 5:15, NASB
We say we love people but shun and shut them out
It is not pessimism to report the facts. A lot of love talk – loving God, loving mankind, loving family, nature etc. – is often shrouded behind a blindfold or mask. If our ideals are simply more of the same (and usually ancient) traditions we really cannot say that we are living with hope. Unlike the worm-butterfly many institutions and associations are expressing a ton of noble ideals while moonlighting in some of the more despicable and abominable life choices. Don’t Pakistanis and Palestinians need to reach across the table to secure their neighbours’ future? Have not the people who say God is merciful but hold out no mercy to their peers stuck a dagger in philanthropy’s back? People who teach that humans should not miss the mark and have their hands gloved with the tools of inhumanity and cruelty, will do what the child caught with his hand in the cookie jar will do; lie. Everything that we call religion or culture is tainted with something that people, without exceptions, use to become insular, hateful, and ruthlessly violent.
Unless the providers of spiritual and physical security and those who are the guardians of meaningful livelihoods and pursuits can also ensure that people have something to hope for they can pack up their legislative pens and viral speeches.
The world-ruling powers and what is left of them have nothing to contribute to a more caring world. Iraq, Iran (the remains of Babylon and Persia), Greece, and Rome are mere shadows of their “glory days”. The US and the UK can claim all they want to be beacons on a hill, but their advertising is utterly false. These powers and all the seafaring European kingdoms or the last two thousand years are heavily invested in navel-gazing and covering up the tracks of their hateful policies at home and abroad. But let us admit that all the laws in the world do not change human attitudes. Laws are mostly ineffective condoms. These two united jurisdictions are a close second to the beast we have come to know as the European Union. They cannot even unite when the livelihoods of their populations are at stake. What am I saying? Philanthropy drives people towards unity, cooperation, and the mutual quest for the welfare of a neighbour has not even dawned on some of the people in power. The US and the UK are the most fractious entities who have dared to call themselves “united”. The world is an armed camp, and soon we will see that the deployment of weapons of mass destruction in outer space is the next rung in the ladder of humanity’s defiance of philanthropy. Death threatens the very air we breathe, and we want to fool around with borders, hate speech, patriotism, migrants and aliens.
On walking in another’s shoes
Until we break out of our parents’ tradition and are willing to say no to the prevailing culture we cannot say a thing about empathy and diversity. The number of cultures that have traditions and policies designed to resist outsiders is the elephant in the room. When the United States decides that immigration destroys the American fabric what can we expect from the rest of the world but more Nazis, Pol Pots, fascist and communist dictators? The world has become so polarized that the idea of physically touching someone else’s shoes is a hurdle for a lot of people. There is apparently no one in the United Nations or the national halls of power who seems to understand that solving problems by walking in another’s shoes is not merely an abstract concept. How many people do we know who want to be an Aboriginal People dealing with European explorers? If religious people expect a conquest they may dare to let people live their lives, otherwise it is way more important for them to maintain their purity. Invariably, they do so by living across the tracks from the people who are not of their persuasion. Indeed, the more extreme and conservative religious beliefs lead to a more deeply set aversion to walking in another person’s shoes.
We love people as slaves and servants
Humans have given lip service to the grand ideals that bind people together, such as humility, and generosity of spirit. In fact even the generation on the cusp of maturity in the second decade of the twenty-first century are themselves victims of a culture that shows how determined it is to glorify wealth, pollution, and inhumanity. The virtual world is not a mecca of any kind of love. Sometimes the lip service is all official when the spotlight is on. There was a day when God tested the commitment of Judah to brotherly care. The nation chose capitalism: its leaders chose to say “yes” to releasing employees after seven years (in compliance with the fiftieth and seventh year liberty ordinances). The seventy year exile of Judah would not have happened if employers (owners of servants) had meant it when they signed the papers for the release of their servants for a year. Love for God and one’s peers hit rock bottom and a bounce back seems unlikely. The same ordinances are dangling in mid-air.
A life of loving one’s peers is a feature of entertainment and not primary education. It is not a fantasy that a person can dare to lay down his life for his friends. A mother’s love has been known to disappear and a brother’s affection may not always be evident but a brother’s love is precisely God’s means of rescuing humanity. The price for getting past our insularity and deadly interpersonal strife cannot be more of the “us – them” attitudes and practices. The disappearance of the love of humanity empowers destructive silos of which people remain proud. All across the globe people are suffering from the absence of love. It is happening in places of extreme wealth and poverty, in palaces and migrant shelters, in the seats of parliament and the prisons. Nothing – neither law, tradition, and conspiracy – takes precedence over a properly focused philanthropy. This explains why people who have preached the gospel and taught the elements of the kingdom of God are now silent about the filth that is parading as political responsibility and providing welfare for impoverished people across the oceans.
You might think that announcing the death of philanthropy is premature, but the prophets all agree that love in all its forms is becoming rare. Brotherly love, erotic love and glory love are not increasing. They are all vanishing behind poor substitutes and morphing into as many perversions as there are reasonable facsimiles of responsible behaviour. So please do not feel insulted that your personal witness to genuine human love has been deemed to be bogus. It should come as a shock that religion and spirituality are not necessary for philanthropy to thrive. The rise of religious communities posing as family puts the natural love we ought to have for humanity in very bad light. With the certainty that primary function of enlightenment is not segregated communities and isolation, I can say the assassins of philanthropy have succeeded.