It’s like going to a hotel pool at a hotel you’re not staying at. You didn’t contribute. You didn’t pay for it. It’s not yours.
I go swimming in the pool and I get caught and I’m getting dragged out kicking and screaming but I know I did something wrong.
It is wrong and we need to make sure that the people that pay for the amenities benefit from them.
We must be human about. If you are staying at the hotel you must realize that you are in a good place and that people might want what you have. They may look at you in your comfortable beach chairs drinking margaritas in the warm sun on your private beach and think “I like it there. I want in.” No gate is high enough to stop that desire. If you want something enough, you WILL get it. Walls be damned.
So what do we do?
Are there enough seats at the hotel bar? Can we make another table? Will we have to hire another waitress? How much will it cost?
Could we take some of the money that we’re using to pay for robots to blow up cities for oil and put that towards this? We benefit from that. Whether we recognize it or not we benefit from the suffering of those in other countries. Our smart phones are made with the hands of Chinese slaves. Our discount clothes are made by children in Bangladesh. Businesses’ customer service departments are farmed out at a fraction of the cost to struggling men and women in New Delhi.
Could we reach to those suffering and wanting around us and extend a hand? Could we take our hands out of the honeypots we have around the world and pay our way? Would you spend the fifty dollars it would take to buy a shirt made by another well taken care of and dignified human being? Would you be willing to only buy what you need? Would you make that change so that those around you could have a little more?
Have I done those things? To this point in my life, no. Can I make that change? I don’t know. I can try. We all have to fucking try.
Or else that hotel is going to get taller and taller and it’s spire will reach out above the horizon to the farthest reaches of despair and it will call out “I am here. I am where you need to be.”
Give me your tired. Your poor.
Fuel for the furnace of industry? Another Mediterranean daughter. Another Irishman’s son. Thrown into the cauldron as the witches of industry howl. Suppressed by Pinkertons, beaten and killed. Give me your tired, indeed.
We have no need for them in paradise. Best left in the kitchen and with the rest of the help. “You’ll wear long sleeves by the pool, Ricardo. We wouldn’t want to confuse the guests.”
The end of the day comes and it’s time to go home. Back wherever that is. Away from here. You’ll need a badge to get in in the morning and when we let you go, you won’t be invited back in.
You spent more time here than I did but I chose to be here. You were always on borrowed time.
I don’t know where you live. I can’t even picture it. It’s probably filthy. I imagine darkness. And then I don’t think about it at all.
But you think about where I live. You see it on tv. It’s in magazines. It’s in the movies. It’s glamour. It’s prestige.
It’s everything you’ve ever wanted. And it’s mine. And YOU CANT HAVE IT.
We do this to our neighbors. We do this to our friends. We do this and we smile.
Down the hill there are children without coats. There are children that are hungry. The cold and the lonely are dying. And it’s warm on Christmas Eve here in America. Here in my section of America.