Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Left for Dead

What if we simply refused to die, when others were ready to finish us off? Let's face it -- our corporate lords and masters need for most of us to die when it's convenient for them to be rid of us. There are far too many of us to suit their purposes. In the future, corporations will be unable to use most of us as employees; in fact, we've probably already reached that point. They haven't figured out that if they ever did manage to disappear all of us as employees, we'd be gone as consumers, too.

When I was let go a few days before Christmas, my now-former company was, in a very real sense, leaving me for dead. They seem to have figured out a way for our department of four people to be staffed by three, instead. Last hired, first fired. You get the story. Far too many of you are living it, yourselves.

It's clearly time for me to do some serious reevaluating here. Do I intend to die -- conveniently for them -- or am I determined to live on? And what, exactly, does living mean?

I have learned that I cannot let what I do for a living define who I am as a human being. I am a child of God, created for eternity, but forced, temporarily, to live in a world that must make use of me, like a cog in the great, man-made machine, or else cast me aside.

I've never totally accepted that. It makes me a rebel -- a misshapen cog -- and I not only accept this, I now know that I must learn to embrace it.

As must we all. We must refuse, for the sake of our very souls, to crawl off and die when the lords of the corporate empire refuse to recognize our value. We not only need to live -- we need to matter.

The rulers of the world have forced our entire society to the brink of disaster. They are anti-human being and anti-human life. They are also anti-God, despite the pious pretensions of so many of them. It is now clear that unless they are overridden by common sense and decency, they will destroy even themselves.

If no one can afford anything, no one can buy anything. The captains of industry, in their blind greed, are well into the process of impoverishing themselves. This is insanity. In their refusal to recognize that employees are also consumers -- even-two dimensional beings (Heaven forbid they would see us as fully-dimensional human beings) -- they are cutting off their own noses to spite their faces.

Only a system that recognizes the humanity of all people can survive.

I will continue to live a fully human life, in spite of them. I will minister to others, and make my voice heard. I will be of use to humanity -- and to God. I will never define myself as merely a cog in the machine. And I will not rest until I have found an occupation in tune with my vocation.

It may take a while. But I will never forget this resolution. Either the corporate world can find a place for me to be me, or I will gladly go to a nonprofit, to a social-service agency of government, a small company that counts every person in its employ, or a labor organization. God has a place for me somewhere. God has a place for each and every one of us -- somewhere.

They cannot leave us for dead, because though they may have been the source of our living, they are not the source of our life. God made us. And we do not live for the lords of the corporate world. We live for God.

As I write this, my faithful cat, Buster Kitten, lies dying at the age of nearly nineteen. He has been with me, very literally, since his birth. His brother and litter-mate, Punkin, stands vigil over him, meowing his heart out. Animals care more about one another than most humans do. And I care vastly more about my little cat than my former employer does about me.

Together, we can remake this world. There are more of us -- many, many more - than there are of them. We can't degenerate into soulless droids if we insist on living as complete human beings. They are trying to make us -- but we can't let them.

Let's all refuse to die -- and really begin to live.


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