Today in overblown and probably unworkable ideas from the mind of Chord...
I am fed up with the concept of "deserving". As much as dispensers of justice think they need to parcel out limited resources of reward, and uplift the worthy as much as punish the unworthy, I see people so often proclaim that this person or that person is not fit to receive basic necessities of survival based on a supposed unworthiness. People want to Punish the Undeserving, and if that means they die, well...
There's plenty of homeless people who freeze to death in the winter because nobody wants to look their way. They were nice! They were quiet! They held up a carboard sign! Nobody looks at the carboard sign.
The wiser ones are the pushy ones. But they get ignored a lot anyway because they'll supposedly spend their coin on drugs.
So a lot of them freeze. And people say "oh well they deserved it, they were jerks."
Meanwhile, there have been many times in my life when I have tried to mete out justice to jerks, only to discover that I was poorly-informed and wound up hurting someone who had done far less than I had thought, that their supposed crime was small enough in the grand scheme of things that had I been patient I would not have broken my relationship with them.
I believed that they deserved retribution, and it turns out that they did not.
I no longer feel fit to discern between the deserving and the undeserving. I would rather be generous, and risk a few scoundrels receiving my aid than a few innocent people being denied my aid. I don't want to be the hypocrites and sinners and jerks and has-beens, suckers and suck-ups and sycophants and freaks and posers. Maybe we're all cowards and lollygaggers and swindlers and cheats and lazybones and bloodsuckers. If we're going to pick apart all our flaws and deny each other basic resources based on a supposed lack of moral character, there's only thirty-six people on this earth who are good enough people to survive the winnowing. I'd rather we support each other despite our being aggrivating.
I'd rather we consider our actions based upon how they would build or winnow our own characters. If I were to let someone hurt a friend, who would I be? If I were to let someone shiver in the cold, who would I be? If I were to strike a person down without hearing a word in their defense, who would I be? And think of it from the perspective of the person stuck in the cold rain. Imagine meeting someone, someone who might help, you, and hearing them say "well, you're not really worth my effort." How awful that would be! And yet so often it happens that people ask for shelter and get shut out by fearful people, by judgemental people, by cruel people, and there's no extra space by the hearth? Really?
It's not really about the lack of resources. When it comes to that excuse, it's usually about the emotional threat that poor people pose to those who have resources. "Undeserving" is the word people use to justify their neglect, after the fact, because they can't admit that they hurried away out of fear.
So I declare that either everybody deserves everything, or nobody deserves anything. Either everyone deserves food, or nobody does. Either everyone deserves water, or nobody does. Either everyone deserves shelter, or nobody does. Pick one and remove the part of the concept that quietly supports discrimination. I won't have it anymore. I won't have people telling me that someone doesn't deserve to survive.
What do we look like when we start telling people they we don't want them to survive?