It’s all a question of priorities isn’t it? I know that’s stating the obvious, but sometimes it’s the things staring us right in the face that we pay the least amount of attention to.
Everybody has their own list of things they consider important; it’s simply a means of ordering our lives. When we give activities a value it enables us to decide how and when the duties and responsibilities in our lives will be met and fulfilled.
When someone uses the excuse of “It’s a question of priorities” for either not doing something or doing something in an order that an other person doesn’t understand they could just as easily be saying “It’s a matter of what’s important to me”. As individuals we are going to differ in what’s important in our daily routine. Mitigating factors could range from whether or not you have children, to what appointments you may or may not have scheduled for that day.
While the majority of us will set our priorities based on our individual needs and wants, there are certain areas where the needs of society at large set a value upon our actions. Municipal recycling programs dependant upon individual members of the community sorting through their refuse each week offers a perfect example.
Before programs such as the curb side pick up of recyclables or what ever system an area uses, would anyone have considered it a priority at all to sort through and separate their plastics, metals, and papers from each other? It was only when it became obvious that we were running out of space to our solid wastes that local governments made it a priority to put their energies into convincing us that it was the right thing to be doing.
For most of us it has now become second nature to sort out garbage in between collection dates and put out appropriately coloured receptacles when we are told. But in order for that to come about governments and environmental groups had had to mount an extensive educational campaign. It was made into a priority by appealing to people’s sense of public duty; doing their bit for the environment and their neighbourhoods.
Recycling falls into a category of priorities that can be referred to as the societal instead of individual. True we as individuals make it a personal priority to do our recycling each week, but it’s not something that would have happened if it had not become a government priority as well.
Of course government priorities are what make the world go round. From Communist to Capitalist it doesn’t matter, they have their list of things they want to accomplish and they mean to do it. The difference between their list and yours is a question of who it effects and how, and the motivation behind it.
Of course, even when you know the priorities of your government that may not be of much use in helping you understand how they make their decisions or explain how they decide what’s most important. Some government’s claim they are guided by the hand of God, others claim that they stand for lofty ideals, another says they are guided by the traditions of their country, and yet another lays claim to a political philosophy.
Yet how is it, if there is so much diversity, that nothing seems to change anywhere in the world? How is it that so many of the world’s leaders; so many different people of different backgrounds, beliefs, and philosophies; always end up with the same priorities?
At least if we are to judge by results and the continually screwed up state of the world what other conclusion can we draw. Millions of people, if not billions are starving to death on a daily basis. Millions of people are dying of one pandemic, AIDS, while other ailments that we once though extinct are coming back more virulent then ever.
The water we drink is becoming increasingly unpalatable and in some places undrinkable. The quality of our air has depreciated so badly that every summer sees an increase in respiratory ailments, and an increased number of people with those ailments dying.
While our world is burning our leaders seem to be more concerned with devising ways and the means for killing us through wars, insurgencies, rebellions, jihads, than doing anything about any of those problems. It doesn’t matter if they are Muslim, Christian, White, Asian, Semitic, or African none of them seem to have the preservation or the improvement of quality of life as a priority.
It’s funny you know, I always used to think that most of the world’s faiths believed that life was sacred. There was the whole thou shalt not kill thing as one of the Ten Commandments, with variations through out the faiths. But what I didn’t realize was that it meant Thou shalt not kill those who are like you, but go ahead and lop off the heads of anyone who is different.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if we ever decided to work as hard at preserving life throughout the world as we do now at destroying it? If we were to make it a priority that everyone in the world was fed, sheltered, clothed, and went to bed at night feeling secure they wouldn’t be killed over night?
How do governments develop their priorities? Did we give them the idea that we want them to be more concerned with killing the people we share the planet with rather then helping them? Or are these just ideas they’ve come up with on their own?
When you develop the priorities for you family, don’t you always do so with their comfort and well being in mind? How often does that include going downtown with a gun and shooting people who may be drug dealers on the off chance they could sell to your children? No usually you’ll talk to your children and educate them about any potential dangers they could face.
Our governments have made it their priority to go downtown and not just shoot those they think maybe drug dealers, but blow up the downtown as well. They don’t seem to give much thought to our comfort and well being. They all claim they are just trying to make the world better for their citizens, to keep them safe, but it seems like more and more of the world’s population dies a violent death each and every day.
Killing another people is no way to guarantee you own people’s safety. Perhaps if governments started making it a priority to keep everybody safe, not just the people who voted for them, we all might live and feel a little safer.