An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Read this story and see if you come to the same conclusions I did.
"If people would know who their customers are and take concern for their customers, maybe they'd go knock on the door and see if everything is OK."
Hey, how about if neighbors did this? Hello? They sure as heck used to do it...but now apparently we expect ENTITIES like the government to do it for us.
Neighbors and others have posted messages on the Internet, complaining it was a shabby way to treat a veteran and demanding city employees be fired or prosecuted for not taking a few minutes to check on Schur
It's a shabby way to treat a neighbor too. In my opinion it is far shabbier for a neighbor NOT to check on a neighbor than for the city government to fail to do so. Why the heck can't we look out for each other?
But he [Bay City Manager Robert Belleman] also said neighbors have a responsibility to each other.
A gleam of hope?
"I've said this before and some of my colleagues have said this: Neighbors need to keep an eye on neighbors," Belleman said. "When they think there's something wrong, they should contact the appropriate agency or city department."
Sigh. Back to the state again. I truly believe this is part of our problem as a society and culture today...we truly don't give a crud about the people right next door to us..as if we pay our taxes in order to express our care for them. How loving and personal...oh yes, and deadly. It's time we remember that government in its essence is like a force of nature over which we have some control. Think of it like electricity running through wires: once it's outside the wiring you'd better not be at the receiving end. Businesses and government are NOT human beings and they are not incarnate. They cannot commune with you, they cannot love you, and for darned sure they cannot save you!
Clearly this could have been avoided on many levels, but on the incarnate level...the personal level...the Christian level: someone should have loved this man. Someone should have taken the time to know and to help him long before a limiter found its way (like the nature of the electricity it blocked) onto his meter. Yes yes, a litany of real people made decisions amidst the government, but as anyone will tell you who has worked in government its inertia is one that is fueled by depersonalization.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, our Lord did not send out as bad examples Caesar or Pilate to walk past the man in need of help, rather he sent pious religious people who I can just imagine might today say as they passed by: "Don't I pay taxes for Rome to take care of this!"
It is shabby, but possibly worse. Perhaps this man – let’s name him – perhaps Marvin is our “canary in the mine”. It seems society disintegrates in one direction or another – into totalitarianism or to the dis-community of “each to his own” (or do they happen simultaneously?). The passing off of the neighborly role onto “the people responsible” – even in the matter of a frail veteran during winter – whose neighbors’ houses are close enough to be seen in the picture – may indicate the approach of a catastrophic breakdown in society – “wolfish relations among men” (Berdyaev) when individualism becomes our form of slavery. In which case, “the appropriate agency” will certainly be ready to assist. - James of Portland
Indeed, terrible...and a sign of the times, as well as a sign of what the media will pick up. Individual murders, for example, get reported in local news but not the national total -- over 16,000 yearly, last time I checked. SIXTEEN THOUSAND!!! While we've been fixating nationally on the American service people killed in Iraq and Afghanistan that number pales in comparison to the numbers murdered in this country since 2003. So, what are we doing to our neighbors...well, quite a few are getting murdered...