I reject the right wing’s idea of patriotism, the flag waving ,military marching kind we see Americans often engage in, the love for symbols. Someone who speaks a different tongue, prays to a different being or calls another nation home these things do not matter. A greater indictment to our society is if someone on our soil is through no fault of their own is made experience poverty and injustice, they are a reflection of our failings, our need to do better by our fellow people. If a person truly loves their nation, that begins and ends with the humanity that inhabits it, to support programs that seek to reduce the divisions between people be they social,legal and economic, so that we not only see each other as different but live as such.

Of course people love rags to riches stories, but like many of the things humanity has claims to love it is a fantasy and a falsehood. It is fantasy that a person has the ability to change their present condition through hard work alone, it is an ideal but not a reality. The far more bitter truth is, that in this era of increasing inequality that people are not as able to change their economic conditions, that if not already, in the coming decades we will come to witness more people that will be born poor, live poor and die poor. That increasingly firmness of economic status and the discrimination based upon it will seem no less unjust as discrimination based upon race or gender. Human Rights as I have studied spoke much of the threat it posed to both political and legal systems and in turn changed them. That was human rights of the past, The human rights of the future will be a threat and bulwark to the economic system. Some would say that such a stance is revolutionary, perhaps it is, for like the sun or the hands of clock, revolutions are inevitable. That is but the nature of progress slow but unstoppable and like a wind when it blows, economic systems have a choice either to be build a windmill or build a wall.

They too were children once.

of course its easy to hate on the homeless, the poor and drug addicted and the prostitutes, basically the people society mostly doesn’t give a shit about, its easy to chalk up their present conditions as shitty or bad life decisions. But what I also find is its a lot harder to hold on to that hate, when one reminds themselves that those people weren’t always like that, that they too were children once.

So today is the birthday of a great personal hero of mine, The late Bhagat Puran Singh. The picture below exemplifies the rare quality in the man I have come to admire. In that even the dying for whom life has begun abandoned, are not beneath compassion or care. That human life no matter the condition is worth caring for, worth loving and nurturing. That a man no matter how difficult the odds must continue do what he feels is right. That is a bravery not written books or shown in movies very often. Yet a bravery that is very necessary in this world. The man though poor and with a grade 10 education, would in the eyes of many be regarded as a failure, yet he is not, for the man who through his actions has taught the true meaning of humanity something many schools and philosophers have broached yet few demonstrate, for it is not who is a person that defines their worth in this world, rather the what they do the life given that is.
“Freedom is not an achievement but an opportunity.” – Bhagat Puran Singh