I had to learn how to love. I had to work at it—paying attention to what made me feel happy and what didn’t. There were so many mistakes. It took 60 years, which seems like a long time, and I think I was lucky in the people I knew along the way.
This is the big question I have: We have an idea that is so nearly beyond doubt, in this case that to learn to love is what makes you happy, but we don’t act on it, we don’t implement it. Nobody doubts it. I should say that nobody who understands it doubts it. And that’s the question. Why is such an important and basic idea not a fundamental part of human education and culture: how to love.
Obviously, people should begin to learn to love at home. And then they should learn in church (by “church” I mean, “spiritual activity.”) But what if for some reason they don’t? I agree, they should learn at home and in church. But what if somehow they don’t? I do believe that some people learn abuse and bigotry at home and at church. Shouldn’t learning to love just be everywhere anyway? Shouldn’t it be about the most basic thing there is? Are the people who don’t learn it in family or church just screwed? That seems like a lot of people.
We baby-boomers ought to be ashamed. It is incomprehensible to me that any member of my generation (U.S. baby-boomers, b. 1945-1964) could look at these pictures and not feel that they have failed in one of their most fundamental human responsibilities. The picture above shows the catch off Key West, FL, in 1958, 1983, and 2007 The picture below shows the habitat of the tiger in 1850, 1950, and 2006. These pictures make it real to me, more than the statistics, charts, and graphs. It’s really happening. Some of the damage was done while the boomers were kids, just because there were so many of them, but most of it was done after they matured and came to power, when those numbers could have been used to prevent further destruction.
Today it was announced that Apple will replace AT&T on the Dow Jones Industrial average. This is a spec sheet from Walmart showing that the Ipad Air has no, that’s right, zero, components that are either manufactured or assembled in the U.S. It is also well-known that Apple has over $100 billion dollars abroad which it keeps abroad in order to avoid U.S. taxes. Apple even borrows money in the U.S. in order to avoid bringing that money home. (search: apple money abroad). However, Apple is in the position to make that money because U.S. taxpayers have funded the universities that educate those Apple geniuses, the transportation system, the public utilities, the environmental and occupational health and safety protections, and the fire and police that make the Bay area such a nice, safe place to live and do business. Continue reading