You Don't Belong

Feb 7, 2012 | Philosophy | 0 comments

For the last five nights we’ve had one or more visitors to our kitchen while we’re sleeping. I suspect these are of the rodent variety and that they have decided our house is dry, while the out of door is rainy and sodden. These creatures seem to have a healthy appetite for anything in our fruit bowl, and when these treats were removed, overnight they got stuck into a bowl of tomatoes instead.
Let me say, we are none of us are Buddhists or Jains. “It’s them or us” would fairly accurately sum up our approach. Sadly, mousetraps have not been successful and now we’ve switched to Ratsack.
It’s interesting, isn’t it, what we say belongs and what doesn’t. Our pets are charismatic, and while some of them can destructive and mean-tempered, by and large they are considered part of the family. But, rodents rarely make it as pets or even as visitors.
I listened to a podcast today from one of my favourite programs: This is American Life and was shocked to hear of legislation that seems to be spreading through some of the United States. It is designed to get rid of illegal aliens – mainly Hispanics – by making it hard for them to live and work. There are now random identity checks in states like Alabama, harsher oversight of employers, and “chokepoints” at access points to services like public schools or medical care. Life has long been difficult for those who don’t have identity papers, and who as a consequence of working in the “shadow economy” live at the poverty level.
The new legislation  is meant to force Hispanics to “self-deport”, simply leave the United States for their homeland because it’s impossible to go on where they are. However, they will be returning to a poorer country and one which has a reputation for danger and violence spread by drug cartels.
I admit I only have partial knowledge of the situation, having lived in Australia for 36 years. I imagine it’s hard on both sides of the debate if the solution arrived at is so radical – a solution that turns lives upside down and separates wives and husbands, parents and kids. The Family of Man has such a lot farther to go before we fulfil the promise of the Sanskrit epic, the Ramayama:

When I don’t know who I am, I serve you. When I know who I am, I am you.


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