25 January 2011

Share the wealth

Oh, the blogging has been slow here for a while. I had that flu that went around. So did my husband and all my kids. Miserable, it was. I've got so many stories I'd like to talk about, but I just can't bring myself to sit and blog all that much.

Because I've been sick, I've been thinking about other people being sick. And what popped out at me was an article on CBC.ca about pharmacists being urged to refuse to provide prescriptions to asylum seekers and refugees unless they pay up front because it takes too long to get reimbursed.

I find this remarkably sad. I mean, I don't expect that the pharmacies should be the ones subsidizing the refugees' medicines. The government needs to do a better job of it, for sure. And believe you me, I do know about the government not paying quickly! Just try getting an autism provider paid in short order. But I also think it's a horrific idea to say, "No meds for you unless you pay!" to a refugee who has nothing and has no way of getting any cash.

I made the mistake of reading the comments. Gah. What heartless people comment there. So many with the idea to save the money and send 'em back where they came from. So many saying to pay for our own people first. How many of those people would call themselves Christians?

Jesus didn't say to give the man your cloak, but only if your friends were all clothed first. He didn't say to heal the sick, but only if everyone in your family was healed first. Every person is of equal importance. Every person.

I said that to a friend not long ago, and she said, "But Canada can't afford to keep feeding and clothing all these people. We'll lose our way of life." I didn't want to fight with her, but I wish I'd said, "Yes, we'll all have to give up a little luxury so that others can have what is necessary."  We would have peace in this world if everyone had what they need to live. And we could do that if we were willing to give up some luxuries. If no one went hungry, if no one froze to death on the street, if no one had to steal to get money for medicine, we would have a beautiful world. What's saddest of all is that it's all possible, if only we were willing to understand that every person is valuable; no one is more important than any other person.

Why do we do this? Where does the greed come from? The strong desire to protect every last bit of stuff that we have. The refusal to share. I can only blame capitalism. The push to compete means that some people suffer at the expense of others. It's how the system has to be. Some people "win" and some people "lose". And the losers are told that it's their own fault. Of course, we know that's crap. There's absolutely no way for everyone to be part of the bourgeoisie. It's impossible. The system is set up for haves and have nots. It's simply impossible for everyone to be rich in a capitalist system. In any system, actually.

It's why I'm a socialist. Sharing wealth so that everyone has enough to eat, a place to sleep, clothing to wear, that's what I think Jesus wanted. I don't need to have chocolate (and I LOVE chocolate) if it means that people, especially children, are commodified, I don't need more than one pair of shoes, I don't need many of the luxuries I have. Sure, it'd suck to give these things up, but I bloody well should. I give to charities, especially the United Church's Mission and Service Fund and a homeless shelter downtown, but I could give more. If the government took a LOT more taxes from the rich and used it to feed, clothe, heal, this country could be great. This WORLD could be great.