Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"For whom the bells toll" OR "Slave, meet thy master!"

Slave species

Who’s the slave?

We are… humans are. Apart from possessing two of the most debilitating genetic propensities, that of greed and violence, we are actually a slave species. That means we enslave and allow ourselves to be enslaved… it’s that simple.

Absolute drivel?... Really?... take a long, hard look at human behaviour in all facets of our existence and tell me it’s not so. I’m not going to expound on how we enslave ourselves to credit, ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ and the countless other examples I could dredge up… I think you get my drift!

What I would like to concentrate on, are the ‘blinding tactics’ foisted on the mass of humanity while this mass majority scrabble around frantically, trying to gain a larger slice of around 10% of the world’s wealth, while the minority of around 10% own 90% of that wealth. How do they do it? Simple….. enslavement!

Recently, I received a mail that explained how the Nazis in Germany, the Communists in both Russia and China and a host of other oppressive systems actually succeeded in their fanatic drives toward power and domination – ‘blinding tactics’ in the form of indoctrination and propaganda.

During World War 2, most Germans were not Nazi. A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to the war, commented: “….but many enjoyed the return of German pride and many more were too busy to care. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen and before we knew it they owned us. We had lost control and the end of the world had come…”

I would hazard a guess that Apartheid was successful for as long as it was, for very much the same reasons. Need we ask the question about Rwanda as well? The point here, is: If the silent majority will render themselves cowed and extraneous, then we, that majority will wake up one day and find ourselves ‘owned’!

The choice to be slave or not…

You quite rightly, may be asking: “So where are we going with this?” Bear with me. The point I am making, stems from the same principle of comfortable indifference, but the outcome remains the same, albeit from a very different angle, and that is:

While Eskom, with their proposed tariff hikes, has most people in the country blinded, SANRAL’s proposed ‘user pays’ tolling system for Gauteng’s roads is silently creeping up on the majority of the good, honest, hard working business people of the province and before we know it, they will own us, too!
The Eskom subject is a lot easier to circumvent if we all just go solar.... at a price of course, but it's possible. The roads thing? Well, unless someone comes up with a car that can fly (which, in the context of the Wright Brothers, may also be a possibility some time) we are all limited to using the roads that will play havoc with our pockets in the not so distant future.... I shudder to think!

Does this ring a few bells somewhere?
It should, because if the silent majority sit and compute the daily operational costs of such a system to businesses in the near future, we should be queueing to ring those bells ourselves! Already, we are taxed through the traditional system, through the fuel levies and, and… the list goes on. Now the proposed ‘user pays’ system could be taxing road users a third and even possibly a fourth time for the privilege of using the same infra-structure…. where and when does it end?

Maybe the silent, hard working and honest business majority should stop their frenetic scrabbling for a very valuable moment in time and ask questions about where the levies for the billions of litres of fuel pumped each year, have gone – questions like, for example: “Show us a simple accounting equation and it better balance… no smoke and mirrors, because that’s our hard-earned money you’re playing with!”

To be slave, or not to be… this is the question, I guess.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Are we awakened?

Somewhere in a small Buddhist shrine...
High among the mountain forests of the Japanese island of Honshu, a bee farmer and his friends, also farmers and men of the earth, gather to mourn and pay their respects at the demise of a hive of imported European Honey Bees. The cause of the slaughter? A very large squadron (about two hundred) Giant Japanese Hornets, the largest of all the Wasps.

“How bizarre!” someone might say. “A bunch of farmers mourning the deaths of a bunch of bees?” Someone else might say: “Serves them right for importing the European bees. Don’t they have any of their own?”

The answer: “Yes, Japan has its own Honey Bees and although they are brilliant at pollinating, they don’t produce the volume of honey that their European counterparts do; hence the importation.”

The point here?
The point is that this Japanese bee farmer and his friends did two things that make them good stewards and custodians of the earth. First, they paid homage to the bees for the benefit they and other humans derive from the bees' existence. Secondly, they mourned, taking responsibility for the destruction of the bees. You see, the European Honey Bee has not adapted to the Japanese ecological system yet and therefor has not evolved to the point that it can offer an effective defence against such an attack. These farmers know that and that is why they gather to pay their respects to their insect brothers.

Back in South Africa
I know a man who rents a large house on a smallholding. Apart from the large house, there are two cottages on either side. In the roof of one of the cottages, a swarm of bees has established a hive and have been very busy doing what bees do, these last few months. This man I know, calls up a friend, also a man who lives close to the earth and it just so happens that this friend is a bee keeper, who makes honey mead amongst other things.

This friend agrees to come and inspect the hive and tells my friend that it will cost R 500 to have the swarm removed. My friend, who realises that, although the bees are doing what bees do, their activity must eventually cause some damage to the ceiling of the cottage. My friend calls a meeting with his landlord and discusses the possibility of having the bees removed and placed in a proper hive, but the landlord, upon hearing what the cost of the removal would be, calmly says: “I’d rather get pest control in and eliminate them permanently.”

The real point

Have we so-called Westerners become so desensitised in relation to our natural world that some of us would regard a swarm of bees as being pests? Is R 500 to a property developer too high a cost, as opposed to safely relocating a swarm of man’s most under-rated friends, in the interest of a healthy ecosystem?

Something is wrong here.

Who is the more honourable custodian; the bee farmer who mourns the loss of a hive, or the wealthy property developer? I guess it’s a case of where you have your hands… in the earth or firmly gripping your cheque book!

I have said this before and I will repeat myself… we are all inter-connected and yes, Honey Bees are our insect brothers.

I received a mail today in which there were photographs of Koala Bears, suffering from the recent high temperatures in Australia, approaching cyclists for water. In another picture, one little creature, when entering a house to escape the heat, was offered a bowl of water and promptly decided to get into the bowl to cool off. The caption at the bottom of the mail read:
Until one has loved an animal, a part of their soul remains unawakened…”