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Letter to Editor: Place more importance on human family

A few weeks ago, I attended the memorial service for an acquaintance and the brother of a friend. The pastor based her message on how this man lived his life, loving everyone like his own family. She used a theme for her message that was based on the "Eleventh Tuesday, We Talk About Culture'" from Mitch Albom's book "Tuesdays with Morrie."

I will paraphrase what I believe Morrie meant, but will suggest you read the book from cover to cover. It is really one dying man's testament to the condition of man, society and the world condition and it profoundly describes the mess this country and the world are currently experiencing. It also describes how we might get ourselves out of this mess if only people would put aside their hatred and divisiveness and the pervasive need to win at all costs.

The message in the "Eleventh Tuesday" starts with Morrie stating that he believes in the inherent good in people, but also saw what they could become. People, when threatened, become someone who spews hatred and divisiveness, no matter the circumstance. That's what Western culture and economy does and people begin looking out for themselves and no one else. Money and things are gods in this scenario.

People in Morrie's perfect world would choose their own "big things," like how we think and what we value. The little things we can live with. However, people need to understand that not everyone will think or believe the same. Of that we need to be accepting of the differences. The problem being is that we have people in this country and around the world who demand that everyone believe the same. That's where the rub is and it needs to be changed so that everyone and idea is treated equally.

Morrie goes on to state that every society has problems that are wholly owned by that society.

"The biggest defect we humans have is our shortsightedness. We don't see what we could become." Start by looking at what we could become. However, if we're surrounded by people who constantly demand that they "want theirs now," you end with a few people who control

everything and control a military to keep the 99 percent from rising up and stealing it.

His final message relates to the problem that we don't believe that humans around the globe — in every society, faith, ethnic group or political entity — are as much alike as us or we them. If people could bring themselves to see that we are more alike, people might be eager to place more importance on the human family and to care about that family the way we care about our own. We all enter the world in the same way and we all leave the world in the same way. This begs the question, how different can we be? This is a direct quote from the book: "In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive. At the end of life, when we are dying, you need others to survive. But the secret is, in between we need others as well."

I don't pretend to be a student of philosophy. I do know, however, that our country and world needs to change or the entire thing will implode. It will be every person for themselves and if you don't have the power, you will be squashed. This state of affairs is spiraling toward that end unless sane thinking people begin a dialog that Morrie puts forth in his "Eleventh Tuesday" conversation with the author.